Writer, analyst, and eloquent opinionator Gore Vidal died today. He was 86. The LA Times reports that he died Tuesday in his Hollywood Hills home, from complications related to pneumonia.
In his lifetime, Vidal received the National Book Award, wrote many novels, short stories, plays and essays. He was a political activist, and received the most votes of any Democrat in more than 50 years when he ran as a Democratic candidate for Congress in upstate New York. Vidal's The City and the Pillar was one of the first American novels to present homosexuality in a direct manner, and outraged many at the time.
Above, his epic 1968 debate with noted dirtbag William Buckley, in which he tells Buckley to "shut up," and calls him a "cryptonazi."
Vidal was a literary juggernaut who wrote 25 novels, including historical works such as “Lincoln” and “Burr” and satires such as “Myra Breckinridge” and “Duluth.” He was also a prolific essayist whose pieces on politics, sexuality, religion and literature -- once described as “elegantly sustained demolition derbies” -- both delighted and inflamed and in 1993 earned him a National Book Award for his massive “United States Essays, 1952-1992.”
Threaded throughout his pieces are anecdotes about his famous friends and foes, who included Anais Nin, Tennessee Williams, Christopher Isherwood, Orson Welles, Truman Capote, Frank Sinatra, Jack Kerouac, Marlon Brando, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Eleanor Roosevelt and a variety of Kennedys. He counted Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Al Gore among his relatives.
He also wrote Broadway hits, screenplays, television dramas and a trio of mysteries under a pseudonym that remain in print after 50 years.
A beautiful essay in the London Review of Books traces the twists and turns of the Robin Hood story over time, to the era of austerity, where “robbing from the rich and giving to the poor” takes on a completely different complexion.
The Clinton campaign has struggled to win support among young voters of every description, including traditional Democratic Party voters: women, African-Americans, people of Latinamerican or Hispanic origin, etc.
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