Gore Vidal's reputation as America's finest essayist is an enduring one. This collection, chosen by the author from 40 years of work, contains about two-thirds of what he published in various magazines and journals. He has divided the essays into three categories, or states. State of the art covers literature, including velists and critics, bestsellers, pieces on Henry James, Oscar Wilde, Suetonius, Nabakov and Montaigne (a previosly uncollected essay from 1992). State of the union deals with politics and public life: sex, drugs, money, Abraham Lincoln, Elear Roosevelt, The Holy Family (his essay on the Kennedys), Nixon, and finally Motheism and its Discontents , a scathing critique of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. In state of being, we are given personal responses to people and events: recollections of his childhood, E. Nesbit, Tarzan, Tennessee Williams and Anais Nin.
Gore Vidal is one of the greatest living American novelists and essayists. He has written numerous Hollywood screenplays, including BEN HUR, and ran as a Democratic candidate for Congress. He appeared with Tim Robbins in the film BOB ROBERTS.
Winner of United States National Book Awards: Nonfiction 1993.