• Inventing a Nation

  • Washington, Adams, Jefferson
  • By: Gore Vidal
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht, Gore Vidal
  • Length: 5 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 19-08-04
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.1 (12 ratings)


Gore Vidal, winner of the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, is one of the great figures in American writing. Now through Vidal's extraordinary literary talents, the three men most responsible for the shaping of America come to life as never before. Volumes have been written about George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson, but no previous work captures the intimate and vital details the way Inventing a Nation does. Vidal's consummate skill takes you into the minds and private rooms of these great men, illuminating their opinions of one another and their concerns about crafting a workable democracy.
Inventing a Nation is a remarkably vivid portrait of three American icons, men whose revolutionary ideas had a profound and lasting impact on the nation they helped create.
©2003 Gore Vidal (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC
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Critic reviews

"This entertaining and enlightening reappraisal of the founders is a must for buffs of American civilization and its discontents." ( Booklist)
"An unblinking view of our national heroes by one who cherishes them, warts and all." ( New York Review of Books)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Qbook on 05-12-05

Cynical But Good

I liked Vidal's book The Golden Age enough to try some of his history. This book is recent and seems built up from the extensive work he has done on the early Republic and its leaders. Again, Vidal makes nearly every other sentence cynical or ironic, or smartalecky. At first this put me off, but after a few chapter I got used to it. There is not really much here I didn't already know, as this book is kind of an introduction to the founding fathers (centering on Washington, Madison, and Jefferson). It is clear that Vidal stands in awe of these figures, even as he exposes their very human failings and contradictions. Hamilton gets a lot of coverage (mostly in his role as a British spy), and this has gotten my interest enough to consider looking into a book just on this topic. Vidal on the one hand makes clear Hamilton's founding of the American economy, but of course to Vidal this is not such a good thing.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Leslie Grey McCawley on 20-12-04

Being with Gore Vidal

I love Gore Vidal and American history. Listening to him discuss various aspects of our history, official and unofficial, with little asides and gossip, is an absolute pleasure. One reviewer called it a "pontification", and I agree -- but am so pleased to just curl up and listen to such a brilliant mind pontificate! Its a joy. But the work IS complex so be prepared to give it your full attention.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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