Washington, D.C., is the final installment in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire,his acclaimed six-volume series of historical novels about the American past. It offers an illuminating portrait of our republic from the time of the New Deal to the McCar-thy era.
Widely regarded as Vidal's ultimate comment on how the American political system degrades those who participate in it, Washington, D.C. is a stunning tale of corruption and diseased ambitions. It traces the fortunes of James Burden Day, a powerful conservative senator who is eyeing the presidency; Clay Overbury, a pragmatic young congressional aide with political aspirations of his own; and Blaise Sanford, a ruthless newspaper tycoon who understands the importance of money and image in modern politics. With characteristic wit and insight, Vidal chronicles life in the nation's capital at a time when these men and others transformed America into "possibly the last empire on earth."
"A superb story. . . . Vidal's people are per-suasive, and he handles the interplay of personality and power with rare skill. . . . Fascinating." —John Kenneth Galbraith
"Vidal is the best political novelist since Disraeli. . . . [His] highly polished prose style, in part the fruit of his classical training, is a constant delight. One might even go so far as to call him a modern La Rochefoucauld." —Louis Auchincloss
"Washington to Vidal is like some Jacobean court, a city where even the smallest movement is interesting and dangerous, and where strokes and suicide have taken the place of poison." —The Times Literary Supplement