By Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire sequence spans the heritage of the us from the Revolution to the post-World warfare II years. With their wide canvas and big solid of fictional and historic characters, the novels during this sequence current a landscape of the yankee political and imperial event as interpreted by means of certainly one of its such a lot worldly, realizing, and ironic observers.
The centennial of the us was once celebrated with nice fanfare--fireworks, exhibitions, pious calls to patriotism, and maybe the main underhanded political machination within the country's historical past: the robbery of the presidency from Samuel Tilden in prefer of Rutherford B. Hayes. This used to be the Gilded Age, while robber barons held the handbag strings of the state, and the get together in strength was firm to stick in energy. Gore Vidal's 1876 supplies us the scoop of the day in the course of the eyes of Charlie Schuyler, who has again from exile to regain a misplaced fortune and manage a wedding into manhattan society for his widowed daughter. And even supposing Tammany corridor has faltered and Boss Tweed has fled, the results of corruption achieve deep, even into Schuyler's circle of relatives.
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Additional info for 1876: A Novel
Rick’s father knew the key men of his country, and reported what they were saying in the clubs. Lloyd George was the only one of the war chiefs who still held power, and he did it because he had no principles, but was able to say, with the most passionate fervor, the opposite of what he said the day before. The “little squirt of a Welsh lawyer” had wrecked his own party getting power, and now was the prisoner of the Conservatives; useful to them because he could talk Liberal, and that was necessary with a bitterly discontented electorate.
What was the use of a fellow’s having money if he couldn’t spend it on his friends? A genial device: Lanny would keep that thousand dollars in mind, and spend it over and over on anybody who had conscientious scruples against munitions profits! ” Lanny sent her a cable, offering to rent the house for Rick, and she said all right, and after he had done it Rick had to come. He made jokes in his old fashion, and spoke with his customary contempt of those whose artistic standards were beneath his own.
Wagstaffe’s tower was his wife, who held herself like a drill sergeant and looked at the rest of mankind through a lorgnette. They were just completing a Mediterranean cruise, and with them was their niece, Miss Nellie Wagstaffe.