[[ download ePUB ]] BurrAuthor Gore Vidal – 91videos.co

Although Americans justify their self interest in moral terms, their true interest is never itself moral Yet, paradoxically, only Americans a few, that is ever try to be moral in politics Gore VidalVidal takes full responsibility for his perjury Okay he only admits to errors and anachronisms, but sides himself with Richard Nixon in the process Burr is a wonderful tale, finding delight in skewering the reputations of the Founding Fathers and all the hypocrisy which didn t make its way into elementary school textbooks Well, the ones I was exposed to during the late 70s It was also written at the height of Watergate.Unlike most historical fiction, Burr breathes The sighs it emits are laced with bourbon I loved this book, though the royal ear grew weary with too many notes That remains my problem, not Vidal s.. I enjoyed Julian which was written by Vidal about the most consequential of the last Roman emperors I wholeheartedly loved Vidal s non fiction compilation Essays on America that won the Pulitzer and displayed the wit and precision of arguably the best essayist of our modern era However I did not love Burr the novel nearly as much Burr , published in 1973, was a very popular historical fictional novel Aaron Burr, the central character, was a minor revolutionary hero, first rate politician, our third vice president, Alexander Hamilton s assassin in America s most famous duel, arrested for treason later acquitted for a conspiracy to start war with Spain near modern day Texas, a charmer, a cad, a father of many illegitimate children and someone who fostered many lasting relationships with many influential people in New York One would be hard pressed to find many American historical characters from whom so much material could be drawn Gore Vidal certainly thought Burr a fascinating character and conducted many years of research in penning this novel This work intersperses Burr s memoirs, nearly twenty of them, with a real time narrative about an aging Burr composed by a fictional journalist Charles Schuyler Vidal, through Schuyler, portrays Burr as charming, cheeky and a bit of a benevolent rogue.So perhaps not a great read for me but not awful either Unlike Julian the Burr narrative timeline bounced around a lot, between present day 1830 s and earlier interesting events in Burr s life While Vidal s writing is crisp as usual, I just didn t find the story with all of the manufactured dialogue of Burr s final three years very interesting I think the novel would have been much, much better focusing exclusively on all the facets of his earlier life.Three stars. Oh, Gore Vidal I thought he was a hairdresser No, that s Vidal Sassoon That sounds wrong Vidal Sassoon was a poet I think he drove an ambulance and collected arms and legs You re thinking of Siegfried Sassoon Actually, I may have mixed him up with Wagner Didn t he marry someone called Siegfried Is that a woman s name in Germany Doesn t sound like one Oh yes, I remember now, Wagner was one of the top Nazis He was the guy who parachuted into England to assassinate Churchill but they caught him and he wrote operas in jail You sure about that Well, you can google it Oh no, I believe you I know you like reading about history READING ABOUT HISTORYEverybody pretty much loves Burr but I found my desire to know the real truth about the American Revolutionary period died a little bit on every page and I parachuted out of this big old book even before p 100 You can tell you ain t into it when you d rather wash the dishes by hand than pick it up again It was beginning to destroy my desire to read and that cannot be tolerated I m not sayin this is a bad novel nor nothing like that It wasn t bad, it was just kind of blahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Burr is the lead novel in Gore Vidal s seven book series on U.S history It s not the first book he wrote in the series, but in terms of historical chronology, everything begins right here If you ve never read Vidal, there are other places you might want to begin Julian is a marvelous novel, as is Messiah You can t really go wrong with Gore But if you re a fan of history and turned off by textbook drudgery and occasional misinformation , Burr opens one writer s look at American history without all the usual hagiographic nonsense The founders are not all here, but those whom Vidal uses in the narrative are treated as real humans, in all their flaws and missteps This is history with a personality Not to mention Vidal is just a natural novelist, a man of letters who writes effortlessly The other six books, in order Lincoln acclaimed as the best novel in the series, and Pres Lincoln is fully fleshed and a wonderful character 1876 Highlights the corruption of American politics with a stolen election at the center of the narrative Empire A titanic battle between Teddy Roosevelt and William Randolph Hearst, and the media s role in the creation of political legacy, and of history Hollywood How the movies became tools for telling Americans how to think and what to do Washington D.C The first novel written, it concerns FDR s rise to American Caesar ship The Golden Age The late FDR years and the creation of the Cold War at the end of the 1940s Oh my, this was brilliant and entertaining I needed to know about Aaron Burr and the history of our nation, and this was a riveting expose of the people, the petty politics, the smells and sins of our nation s creators It was also my first by Vidal, and will read manyif I have that much time The plot was of the type that works well for me, a young man on a mysterious journey to uncover the enigmatic and magnetic statesman who was nearly president Burr s intellect and talent for governing were nearly unmatched, save his nemesis, Hamilton The account of the plodding figurehead, Washington, the man who wanted to be king, was hilarious The shifty Jefferson, the great hypocrite, who was a far greater politician than statesman, is laid bare.Nearly all the characters are real, and scholarship is impressive Many events seemed over the top and incredulous, yet when I googled them they were all true Incredible that Vidal wrote this in 1973, well before Jefferson s fatherhood of multiple children by Sarah Hemmings was well known This book must have been absolutely scandalous for its time, and took great courage to write This book changed my view of history, made it come alive in a way that history books rarely do It may not no it is not factual yet like great literature seemed truer than those other accounts Washington and in fact the colonists rarely won any direct conflicts in the revolutionary war except those aided by the French Here s an account of the military p 54 But difficult it was, always, for Washington to maintain an army The rich tended to be pro British, while the poor were not interested in whether or not American merchants paid taxes to a far away island The truth is that except for a handful of ambitious lawyers, there were very few patriots in 1775 Heresy On Jefferson p 207 It was Jefferson s conceit that he alone represented democracy and that all the rest of us from Washington to Adams to Hamilton wanted to wear crowns and tax his cup of tea p 209 Jefferson was so beautifully human, so eminently vague, so entirely dishonest but not in any meretricious way Rather it was a passionate form of self delusion that rendered Jefferson as president and as man not to mention as writer of tangled sentences and lunatic metaphors confusing even to his admirers Proclaiming the unalienable rights of man for everyone excepting slaves, women, Indians and those entirely without property , Jefferson tried to seize the Floridas by force, dreamed of a conquest of Cuba George Clinton referred to him p 289 as a..Frenchified trimmer from that atheist from Virginia Massa Tom His countrymen considered him cowardly, according to Burr reciting his memoirs, as p 297 .like so many bookish men who have never been in battle, Jefferson enjoyed the threat of bloodshed Of course, this all from Burr s account Once in office p 305 the public is always relieved to find.once elected the officials do not really want change Does this sound familiar in 2016 Burr expounds loquaciously p 520 Although Americans justify their self interest in moral terms, their true interest is never itself moral Yet, paradoxically, only Americans a few, that is ever try to be moral in politics.I really, really enjoyed this The New York riots of that time, the 5 points debauchery of whores, drink, organized crime, fiery abolitionists and Tammany hall was original and colorful The story of a young journalist intent struggling with his moral duty as a reporter vs the love of his fatherly subject Burr worked beautifully as brilliant yet aging octogenarian unlayers his remarkable past and his many peccadillos come to light The finish is lovely, as the young reporter watches his idol become ill and fade away, along with his cronies, including the irascible Andrew Jackson, and a few surprises emerge This was a most pleasurable way to read history My only complaints is that this publisher Bantam produced a rather low quality volume with numerous typos But I ve been carrying this around for many years, so it is near and dear.Finally, a friend of mine, upon learning I was reading this, recounted his one story of Gore Vidal Apparently he was visiting his midwest university as the featured guest A student, showing up as part of a course obligation, was interrogated rather aggressively by an elderly gentleman regarding his views on the schedule speaker They had a nice chat and then the emcee introduced the speaker who was you guessed it that very same elderly gentleman who scrambled to the podium. It s the first novel I ve read by Gore Vidal an enthralling alternative view for Hamilton fans History is truly a network of stories told from different points of view Great fun I knew next to nothing about US history when I began reading Gore Vidal s Burr So, I was, and still am, in no position to assess the historical accuracy of the numerous events recorded in his fictional biography of Colonel Aaron Burr 1756 1836.During the American Revolutionary War, Aaron Burr was involved in an expedition to attack the British forces in Quebec Although this was not a success, it was during this campaign that Burr became known a military hero He rubbed shoulders with George Washington, for whom Vidal has a low regard, and with Thomas Jefferson, also much disliked by Vidal, who was to become his greatest foe Burr, who was favoured by many to become the President of the USA, stepped aside to allow Thomas Jefferson to take the throne He became Jefferson s vice president General Alexander Hamilton, another Revolutionary War hero and an important US politician, was antagonistic to Burr for a number of reasons When Burr learnt that he had been slandered by Hamilton, he demanded an apology Hamilton denied all knowledge of this The situation worsened, and Hamilton challenged Burr to a duel in 1804 This took place in Weehawken, New Jersey Burr was a far better shot than his opponent Hamilton died of his wounds a few days later.Following Hamilton s death, Burr moved out of New York and went westwards to the Mississippi, where he began collaborating with others in plotting the conquest of Mexico Thomas Jefferson, learning of this, deliberately misinterpreted Burr s planning as evidence of plotting treason against the United States Jefferson, keen to eliminate Burr, his rival and critic, arrested him and staged a show trial Unlike those that Stalin was to stage manage years later in the USSR, Burr was acquitted For the rest of Burr s life, he worked in his law practice in New York City.The above is a very sketchy summary of Burr s life, but provides the background to Vidal s book.Vidal uses two narrators in Burr One of them is Charlie Schuyler, a young lawyer and an aspiring writer Schuyler works in Burr s law office The other is Burr himself.Schuyler wants to write a biography of Burr, and is encouraged to do so by his subject Burr supplies Schuyler with substantial sections of his unpublished, unedited memoirs Excerpts from these memoirs alternate with Schuyler s own accounts of his daily life in New York during the election campaign the brought Martin Van Buren to the White House in 1837 Enemies of Van Buren pay Schuyler to dig up the dirt on him during his candidacy They are particularly keen to try to prove that Burr was Van Buren s father Schuyler is torn between the money they offer him and his high regard for Burr.Vidal uses the excerpts from Burr s fictional unpublished memoirs to write his idiosyncratic version of the history of the American Revolution The result is a delightful riot of iconoclastic ideas and cynical views of the ideals of the founders of the USA.I look forward to readingof Vidal s historical novels, despite their great length PS Throughout the book, there is talk of the rights of states to secede from the union, and also there are numerous references to the continuing arguments between the slave holders and abolitionists The USA was far from being as united as its name suggests. What I knew about Aaron Burr was that in a duel he shot and killed Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury and pictured on the 10 bill That is a pitiful amount of knowledge and if I had ever been toldabout Burr, it is in that part of the brain marked irretrievable For pete s sake, Elizabeth, Burr was Vice President of the United States Further, the electoral votes in the 1800 election were tied between Jefferson and Burr and the election was decided by the House of Representatives Burr is not just this obscure fellow about whom there is likely a trivia question.There are two first person narrators 1 Charlie Schuyler, the only fictional character in the novel, is a clerk in Burr s law office and 2 Burr himself Burr dictates his memoirs to Charlie, which begin in the Revolutionary War, carry us through the 1800 election and the duel, and for a few years after They are dictated in the mid 1830s, long after Burr was a mover and shaker in US politics Charlie also has a life and through him we get to see a bit of New York City of the period, and to a lesser extent, Washington DC called Washington City Our introduction to Burr is on the day of his second marriage in 1833 The astonishing day began when Colonel Burr came out of his office and asked me to accompany him to the City Hotel where he was to meet a friend As usual, he was mysterious He makes even a trip to the barber seem like a plot to overthrow the state Walking down Broadway, he positively skipped at my side, no trace of the stroke that half paralyzed him three years ago.I came to understand the plot reference Politics is a dirty business and we should disabuse ourselves that it is dirtier now than then Burr definitely had a perspective not taught in schools at least not when I was in school For example, Burr thought Washington not an especially good general and that he had a big butt He also did not think highly of Jefferson Vidal himself, in the afterword, says All in all, I think ratherhighly of Jefferson than Burr does on the other hand, Burr s passion for Jackson is not shared by me Although the novel s viewpoint must be Burr s, the story told is history and not invention I was glad to read this latter, that this is not invention.Vidals prose is quite readable, but I must admit this reads somewhere between fiction and nonfiction Some of Burr s memoirs are dense and even tedious in parts Politicians have such egos Chronologically, this is the first in Vidal s Narratives of Empire series This was interesting enough that I want to read the others, though I have no immediate plans to do so For historical interest, this gets 4 stars, but for readability it islike the top of my 3 star group, not quite crossing that 4 star threshold. I once read that Rep Michele Bachmann R MN , the erstwhile presidential candidate, said that once upon a time she had been a Democrat, even working for the election of Jimmy Carter However, while riding on a train one day, she experienced a political conversion while reading Gore Vidal s novel, Burr According to Rep Bachmann, she became so upset with the way Vidal depicted our Founding Fathers mocking them, she said that she dropped the book into her lap and said to herself, I must be a Republican I have owned two copies of that novel for years, and though I have read all of Vidal s other historical novels, somehow I had never gotten around to reading this one But after reading how it had exerted such a great impact on Rep Bachmann s life and she didn t even finish the book , I decided that I had to read it and right away After all, it might change my life, too.And now I have read it.If I had the opportunity to discuss the book with her, I would try to make the following points 1 The author is the late Gore Vidal He always went over the top in everything he said and everything he wrote, fiction or nonfiction Always provocative, he was very much prone to exaggeration, even when his point was a valid one.2 The book is written from the viewpoint of Aaron Burr The man was a self promoting scalawag While he was vice president of the United States, he shot and killed the very first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton, in a duel President Thomas Jefferson later accused him of treason against the United States He was prosecuted by the federal government, but was acquitted.Since the book tells the story from Burr s viewpoint and presents his version of these events, it should come as no surprise that it places him in the best possible light and Hamilton and Jefferson in the worst possible lights Vidal even admitted in the afterword that he had a higher opinion of Jefferson than Burr did, and a lower opinion of Andrew Jackson 3 The book is a work of fiction not history.I am sorry to report that after reading this book, I have experienced no political conversion, no epiphany, and have reached no life altering conclusions None Not yet. Gore Vidal S Narratives Of Empire Series Spans The History Of The United States From The Revolution To The Post World War II Years With Their Broad Canvas And Large Cast Of Fictional And Historical Characters, The Novels In This Series Present A Panorama Of The American Political And Imperial Experience As Interpreted By One Of Its Most Worldly, Knowing, And Ironic Observers Burr Is A Portrait Of Perhaps The Most Complex And Misunderstood Of The Founding Fathers In , While Serving As Vice President, Aaron Burr Fought A Duel With His Political Nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, And Killed Him In , He Was Arrested, Tried, And Acquitted Of Treason In , Burr Is Newly Married, An Aging Statesman Considered A Monster By Many Burr Retains Much Of His Political Influence If Not The Respect Of All And He Is Determined To Tell His Own Story As His Amanuensis, He Chooses Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler, A Young New York City Journalist, And Together They Explore Both Burr S Past And The Continuing Political Intrigues Of The Still Young United States