Empire: A Novel

by Gore Vidal

Hardcover, 1987



A historical novel with portraits of Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst illuminates Roosevelt's Washington, America's Gilded Age, and the expanding American empire.


½ (138 ratings; 3.6)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Borg-mx5
A historical novel of the Gilded Age. Vidal excels at this genre.
LibraryThing member DeadFred
Enjoyed this book greatly as I have some old friends there-in namely Henry Adams and Friends . The story line was good the historical chronology good and the period of US History excellent, late 1800s American centered mostly In Washington, DC with visits to Newport, RI , New York and Paris

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believe Vidal purpose here is in part to offer awareness to the Adams Salon using a fictional Brother and Sister as the center piece of the story . "Them" being Adams himself , , John & Helen Hay's , Adlbert Hay's(son) Elizabeth Cameron , Teddy Roosevelt , Henry Cabot Lodge with a smidgeon of Clarence King and a hint of Clover(Adams) deceased wife of Henry's who committed suicide . I tip my hat to Gore Vidal for shining a light on Adams who was an Incredible man , America's greatest historian in my opinion who actually did incredibly little (outside history that is) but was brilliant in doing it .
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LibraryThing member YossarianXeno
This political saga is sparingly written given the scope of the events it addresses, chronicling the interaction between the fledgling popular press and US politics in the decades immediately before and after the beginning of the 20th century. Well known historical figures populate the text:
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Theodore Roosevelt, Hearst, Adams and Hay. The characters are convincingly portrayed; the novelist's understanding the period, it's politics and the higher echelons of society are evident. But for all that, I was a little disappointed that I wasn't fully absorbed throughout by this novel: it builds slowly towards its climax; the final 50 pages or so are the most powerful. Perhaps if I'd read the three novels that precede this one in Vidal's Narratives of Empire series first I might have found this more compelling from the beginning.
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LibraryThing member jdpwash
A marvelous story about the burgeoning American Empire - scathing portrait of Theodore Roosevelt among others. Gore Vidal at his best.
LibraryThing member dbsovereign
Stick it through and you may survive. Vidal's brand of historical fiction where Hearst and Roosevelt confront each other is interesting. Not my favorite of his (I prefer _Lincoln_ and _1876_ of his historical novels), but still inserts us into a very human story.
LibraryThing member ValerieAndBooks
Empire is fourth chronologically in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series. This historical fiction novel covers the era just after the Spanish-American war ended (1898). As with Vidal's others in this series, fictional characters intermingle with real historical figures, and mostly
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Caroline Sanford is one such fictional character (her ancestors appear in earlier novels). She takes on William Randolph Hearst by acquiring a competing newspaper, and gets engaged to Adelbert Hay (son of John Hay, who also appeared in earlier novels; his political career started with Lincoln). And, of course, there's more intrigues going on in this installment. This is the first in the series where a strong female character takes center stage, and I enjoyed that aspect.
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LibraryThing member maryreinert
After reading 1876 which I loved, and Burr which I liked, perhaps this was just too much American history via Vidal. Might try to pick it up again at a later date.
LibraryThing member ritaer
The falling arc of one character's life--Lincoln's personal secretary who ends as Secretary of State-- and the rising arcs of William Randolph Hearst and Theodore Roosevelt are metaphors for the decline of the American Republic, flawed as it may have been and the rise of the American Empire. A
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central character who is a woman born American but reared in France, and becomes a newspaper publisher is an interesting touch.
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Random House (1987), Edition: 1st Random House ed, 3 pages

Original publication date





0394561236 / 9780394561233


Original language

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