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Vidal, Gore. 1876: A NOVEL. New York City, NY: Random House, 1976. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 365 pages. Fine. Signed.

The third volume in the author's cycle on American history. Limited Slipcased Edition of 300 numbered and signed copies. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the 1990 Easton Press edition. Like three other titles in the cycle ("Lincoln", "Empire", and "Hollywood"), Random House issued a Limited Edition for the novel. All of them are the most beautiful (and therefore most collectible) editions. This Limited Edition sold out after publication and is now very scarce. An austerely elegant production by Random House: Regular-sized volume format. Blue cloth boards with gilt titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Text by Gore Vidal. Matching blue hard board slipcase. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Gore Vidal's grand vision of American history "from above", a multi-volume project that took the better part of forty years. The novels, in historical order, are: "Burr", "Lincoln", "1876", "Empire", "Washington, DC", and "The Golden Age". Vidal's unblinking and penetrating vision throughout the entire cycle is the transformation of his beloved country from a struggling, proud, and independent Republic to a world power and out-of-control Empire. Published in the Bicentennial Year, "1876" recreates the Centennial Year, which was "celebrated with great fanfare and the most under-handed political machination in the country's history: The theft of the Presidency from Samuel Tilden by Rutherford B. Hayes. This was the Gilded Age, when robber barons held the purse strings of the nation, and the party in power was determined to stay in power" (Publisher's blurb). As a portrait of the corruption of democracy by the moneyed elite, the novel remains unsurpassed. To many readers, it is a precursor of our very own time, notably the 2000 and 2004 elections. "Vidal's historical imagination is so powerful as to compel awe" (Harold Bloom). Most of his admirers deem the essays to be Vidal's greatest achievement because they are indeed so arresting, seductive, and inimitable. As always, Bloom's wisdom puts matters in perspective: The historical novels (and their contrapuntal inversion, Vidal's hyper-novel "inventions") will take their rightful place in his oeuvre. Gore Vidal died on July 31, 2012 at the age of 86, the last of the great American public intellectual/writers of our time. We live in the Age of Mediocrity, where (nearly) everyone is a critic/blogger/pundit mouthing timid, politically correct opinions. Someday, we will realize what we have irretrievably lost. An absolute "must-have" edition for Gore Vidal collectors. This copy is one of the Limited Slipcased Edition, indicated as such on the Front Limitation Page, and it is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen by Gore Vidal. He underlined his signature for emphasis. This edition is now highly collectible. This is one of very few copies of the Limited Slipcased Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Like three other titles in the cycle ("Lincoln", "Empire", and "Hollywood"), Random House issued a Limited Edition for "1876". Among the bewildering number of choices available online, all of them are surely the most desirable editions. A rare signed copy thus. Recipient of the National Book Award's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 for "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters". One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER GORE VIDAL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0394406516. $250.00

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