Death of a Giant

I have written before of my deep interest in American Presidential History. I am the only person I know who receives a gift for Presidents’ Day; a biography or other book related to those who have held the office.

Today, I learnt that the man who started me on this path, has passed away. It was a TV interview on BBC with Gore Vidal that was responsible. I found him fascinating and went to the library to borrow one of his books. The Spalding library had but two, 1876 and Lincoln. Oddly, I borrowed teh former. It is a novel that tells of the hotly contested election in America’s centennial year in which the Democratic candidate loses the election despite having more votes than Rutherford B. Hayes. The key to the election is a dispute over votes in Florida. Yes, this was 1876 and not 2000.

I read Lincoln, another novelization drawing from real events. There is a series of Vidal books that span much of American history, weaving real and fictional characters. They are all well worth reading.

After those first two Vidal books I took one of the few American Presidental books that this little library had on the shelves; Edmund Morris’ “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt”. From that point on my focus was on biography, but it was Gore Vidal who started my whole fascination.

Gore Vidal died Tuesday July 31 at the age of 86.

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Published in: on 1 August, 2012 at 6:53  Leave a Comment  

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