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Hollywood
Cover of Hollywood
Hollywood
Narratives of Empire Series, Book 5
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Hollywood marks the fifth episode in Gore Vidal's "Narratives of Empire," his celebrated series of six historical novels that form his extended biography of the United States.
It is 1917, and President Woodrow Wilson is about to lead the country into the Great War in Europe. In California, a new industry is born that will irreversibly transform America. Caroline Sanford, the alluring heroine of Empire, discovers the power of moving pictures to manipulate reality as she vaults to screen stardom under the name of Emma Traxler. Just as Caroline must balance her two lives—West Coast movie star and East Coast newspaper publisher and senator's mistress—so too must America balance its two power centers: Hollywood and Washington. Here is history as only Gore Vidal can re-create it: brimming with intrigue and scandal, peopled by the greats of the silver screen and American politics.
"Hollywood shimmers with the illusion of politics and the politics of illusion," wrote the Chicago Sun-Times. "A wonderfully literate and consistently impressive work of fiction that clearly belongs on a shelf with Vidal's best," said The New York Times Book Review.
With a new Introduction by the author.
Hollywood marks the fifth episode in Gore Vidal's "Narratives of Empire," his celebrated series of six historical novels that form his extended biography of the United States.
It is 1917, and President Woodrow Wilson is about to lead the country into the Great War in Europe. In California, a new industry is born that will irreversibly transform America. Caroline Sanford, the alluring heroine of Empire, discovers the power of moving pictures to manipulate reality as she vaults to screen stardom under the name of Emma Traxler. Just as Caroline must balance her two lives—West Coast movie star and East Coast newspaper publisher and senator's mistress—so too must America balance its two power centers: Hollywood and Washington. Here is history as only Gore Vidal can re-create it: brimming with intrigue and scandal, peopled by the greats of the silver screen and American politics.
"Hollywood shimmers with the illusion of politics and the politics of illusion," wrote the Chicago Sun-Times. "A wonderfully literate and consistently impressive work of fiction that clearly belongs on a shelf with Vidal's best," said The New York Times Book Review.
With a new Introduction by the author.
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About the Author-
  • Gore Vidal (1925–2012) was born at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His first novel, Williwaw, written when he was 19 years old and serving in the army, appeared in the spring of 1946. He wrote 23 novels, five plays, many screenplays, short stories, well over 200 essays, and a memoir.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 1, 1990
    In the sixth of Vidal's historic novels about Aaron Burr and his descendants, the author has come a long way from Burr , the first in the series, both in time span--the focus here is on the years between 1917 and 1924--and quality. His imagination seems to flag as he draws closer to the present, and he delivers a surprisingly dry recitation of the facts and circumstances of history. Each of the novels in Vidal's U.S. saga has become more extravagantly peopled with historical personages. Presidents Harding, Wilson and Coolidge, and Hollywood stars Fairbanks, Chaplin and Mabel Norman make major appearances here. His fictional protagonists--Caroline Sanford and Burden Day, also the main characters of Empire --seem on hand merely to be injected at just the right moment to catch an intimate glimpse of the rich and famous. There is no dramatic tension in Hollywood , although there are regular flashes of Vidal's wit, in particular a scene in a steambath with Fairbanks and Chaplin waxing grandiloquent on the nature of movies. The details of the Teapot Dome scandal, the shadow presidency of Mrs. Wilson during her husband's incapacitation, and the difficulty of dealing with Harding's mistress are recounted with none of Vidal's usual relish. Although his writing continues to be clear and elegant, in Hollywood , he has failed to produce a compelling story. First serial to Washingtonian; BOMC featured alternate.

  • The New York Times " Wicked and provocative. . . . Vidal's purview of Hollywood in one of its golden ages is fascinating."
  • Richard Poirier,The New York Review of Books " Vidal succeeds in making his history alive and plausible."
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    Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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Hollywood
Hollywood
Narratives of Empire Series, Book 5
Gore Vidal
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