Vidal, Gore. INVENTING A NATION: WASHINGTON, ADAMS, JEFFERSON. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 198 pages. As New/As New.

The author's book-length account on subject. One of the most important literary and historical texts of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the Softcover Edition. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only by a University Press. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Gore Vidal's "Inventing A Nation". The inaugural title in Yale University Press' landmark "American Icons" Series. It is riveting in its portrait of the new nation called the United States of America, which was inevitably a very messy experiment, constantly on the verge of falling apart altogether even before it could get off the ground (whereas previous European republics lasted for hundreds of years through autocratic means before finally collapsing). Vidal recounts the alliances, rivalries, egos, ambitions, and realities faced by the men who became the first three American presidents. "Much of Vidal's contempt for contemporary America originates in his admiration for how the Founding Fathers saw human nature. The Founders were not hypocrites disclaiming interest in power. They made an honest attempt in the Constitution to restrain what they saw as human beings' inevitable appetite for ambition and avarice" (Gilbert Taylor). With his cycle of novels on its history, Gore Vidal demonstrated that he is America's preeminent literary historian. He has had a lifelong parallel career as essayist/political commentator and his work, collected as "United States: Essays 1952-1992", won the National Book Award. In those luminous pieces as well as in this book, Vidal has one consistent, insistent theme: Humanity (our fallibility) and nobility (the ability to transcend our fallibility) always go hand in hand. Contrary to popular belief, Vidal was not an ideologue at all. Like other independent minds, he had little use for ideology, whether of the Left or the Right. Ideology is politics as dogma, orthodoxy, and received wisdom, the religion of our secular age. It is a poor substitute for thinking and a genuine worldview: Not the discredited Hegelian idealism, but instead an understanding of life that is grounded in reality, things as they really are, and at the same time, a vision of what they can and ought to be. 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. Pundits are retail thinkers, that is, they are not real thinkers. Someday, we will realize what we have irretrievably lost. An absolute "must-have" title for Gore Vidal collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on a unique bookplate that is neatly pasted on the front free endpaper by Gore Vidal. The bookplate is the souvenir-memento of "An Evening For Literacy", produced to benefit the Houston READ Commission, a non-profit mass literacy project. Apart from the fact that it was specially created for the benefit event only, what makes it truly unique is that is reproduces David Levine's iconic drawing-portrait of Vidal (which first appeared in The New York Review of Books). Signed bookplates are seldom as collectible as copies signed on the book itself. This is one such rare exception. This title is a contemporary classic. As far as we know, this is the only such signed copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. 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 copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER GORE VIDAL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0300101716. $100.00

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