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"In 114 essays written over a period of forty years, Gore Vidal has
shown himself to be a masterly, learned, and percipient observer of
an unparalleled range of subjects. "United States: Essays,
1952-1992" assesses such diverse matters as modern French fiction,
the Kennedys, underappreciated writers like Thomas Love Peacock,
and the American attitude toward sex. He writes tenderly of authors
and people he cherishes--Eleanor Roosevelt, Tennessee Williams,
William Dean Howells. Whatever his subject, he addresses it with an
artist's resonant appreciation, a scholar's conscience, and the
persuasive powers of a great essayist."--Citation for the 1993
National Book Award
"Vidal is the best all-around American man of letters since Edmund Wilson." --"Newsweek"
"Gore Vidal, essayist; so good that we cannot do without him. He is a treasure of the state."--R.W.B. Lewis, "New York Times Book Review"
"Gore Vidal is the master essayist of our age, and we should thank the gods that we still have him to kick us around. Long may he flourish."--Michael Dirda, "Washington Post Book World"
"The century's finest essayist."--Jonathan Keates, "The Spectator"
"Indispensable . . . An excellent read . . . Provocateur, scholar, historian, novelist, scoundrel, whatever you want to call Gore Vidal, make sure you include 'national treasure' . . . [He] is an original mind, who thinks and sees without regard to convention. That alone makes him required reading." --"Sunday Oregonian
""Vidal has always had title to being among the most fluently entertaining of American essayists. I think it can now be seen that he is among the most substantial . . . There is often room to disagree with Vidal.But there is no room at all for denying that he is a superlative essayist, whose elegant concision is a gage thrown down to everyone else in the field."--Clive James, "The Observer
"Some of the most courageous, liveliest, and wittiest commentary on literature, the theater and social life that has been written in America."--Philip Rahv
"The American tradition of independent and curious learning is kept alive in the wit and great expressiveness of Gore Vidal's criticism."--National Book Critics Circle for "The Second American Revolution
""Gore Vidal is that rare thing, a wit who thinks in paragraphs." --Kenneth Tynan