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Publisher's Summary

The Last Empire is Gore Vidal's ninth collection of essays in the course of his distinguished literary career. Vidal displays unparalleled range and inimitable style as he offers incisive observations about terrorism, civil liberties, the CIA, Al Gore, Tony Blair, and the Clintons, interwoven with a rich tapestry of personal anecdote, critical insight, and historical detail. Written between the first presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and the electoral crisis of 2000, The Last Empire is a sweeping coda to the still-existing conflicted vision of the American dream.

©2001 Gore Vidal (P)2001, 2016 New Millennium Entertainment, Phoenix Books

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    4 out of 5 stars

To understand USA today, start here

I loved this book. It makes sense and explains how an empire works and why it has to do so.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-10-2016

Collection a reminder of what patriotism truly is

The late great Gore Vidal was one of America's finest intellects. In his novels, his plays, and his essays he consistently demonstrated his genius. But be forewarned, he is not for the faint of heart or easily offended. Vidal relished skewering the hypocrites and the vandals who he saw destroying America from within. That is why I call him one of the most patriotic intellectuals of the 20th and 21st centuries. Whether it's our prudish sexual mores or our love of the military industrial complex, Vidal was there to point it out.

Like many Americans, I have been sickened by the ugliness of American political scene of the last few decades. Conservatives and liberals continue to throw muck at one another and because we are so divided we gleefully egg them on. Vidal saw that which probably is part of his decision to live overseas. Still, his writing is stimulating--occasionally outrageous, frequently annoying, but always witty and provocative. And considering the popularity of the musical "Hamilton", it's hopefully not too long before Vidal's masterful novel, "Burr", becomes available on Audible. Along with all his other novels (only 2 of his novels are currently available)!

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  • Kym
  • 09-08-2016

Good work poorly read

Would you listen to The Last Empire again? Why?

I could not listen to it again and in fact could not finish it due to the lacerating boredom invoked by the narrator, mired in a seeming quandery of ill timed mispronunciations with a voice lacking resonance, timbre or it seems, any understanding of his subject.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Empire?

Vidal needs no review as few writers can incise the heart of an issue with the delicacy of the surgeon and then bludgeon it with language as he does.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The lack of timing, inflection and any resonance coupled with mispronunciations made it impossible to sit through.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

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  • Mark A. Cole
  • 29-07-2020

I don’t want to take your goddamned surveys

Don’t force customers to take surveys. I’m going to look into suits audible for this

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  • The Masked Reviewer
  • 07-11-2019

Great material, partially spotty recording.

Fascinating essays that touch on American history in profound ways. That said, about 2 chapters in, the audio becomes marred pretty badly, strangely enough, as the author covers the personal character of a heroic figure of the Left, FDR (Vidal was an avid Democrat). It appears to stop with the next chapter, but in a later chapter covering the FBI fiasco at Waco, TX, it seems to begin again, introducing the tiniest hint of reasonable suspicion at that point. It's strange that the marred material covers FDR's character flaws, which appears to be essential to the next chapter (and FDR is a pretty big figure in American history and politics, so this is a major issue).

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  • Scott at the Junction
  • 24-04-2018

perfectly written essays provide an alternative vi

Fascinating words from one of the great outsiders from the inside of the US political set.

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  • Nick Bedson
  • 15-11-2016

Excellent

Should be required reading for anyone interested in postwar USA . Vidal brilliantly disects American imperial policy with wit, anger and clarity

1 person found this helpful

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