Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams and Jefferson

Version: Unabridged
Author: Gore Vidal
Narrator: Paul Hecht
Genres: Biography & Memoir, North America, Public Policy
Publisher: Recorded Books
Published In: November 2003
# of Units: 5 CDs
Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Gore Vidal, one of the master stylists of American literature and one of the most acute observers of American life and history, turns his immense literary and historiographic talent to a portrait of the formidable trio of George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. In Fathers of the Republic, Vidal transports the reader into the minds, the living rooms (and bedrooms), the convention hails, and the salons of Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and others. We come to know these men, through Vidal's splendid and percipient prose, in ways we have not up to now--their opinions of each other, their worries about money, their concerns about creating a viable democracy vidal brings them to life at the key moments of decision in the birthing of our nation. He also illuminates the force and weight of the documents they wrote, the speeches they delivered, and the institutions of government by which we still live. More than two centuries later. America is still largely governed by the ideas championed by this triumvirate.

Reviews (8)

Inventing a Nation

Written by Ken Pflueger on April 27th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Very insightful book. The voice of the narrator made it difficult to follow at some points, but the content was so interesting that I overlooked that matter. Gore Vidal provides some useful insight into the early history of the United States which speaks to many of the issues and challenges our government is facing in contemporary times. It is too bad that more of our contemporary leaders are not better versed in the history of those early days, and that they are not better versed in the very important insights from the Federalist Papers that shed light on the the original thinking of the nation's founding fathers.

Disappointed

Written by Anonymous on September 14th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I agree with the other reviewers that Gore Vidal does entirely too much editorializing. He continually compares some 18th century situations to the politics of today. Also, he makes some hefty accusations (Hamilton was Agent Number 7 for the British.) I would love to see his documentation.

Mildly Interesting and Hard to Follow

Written by Anonymous from Sunnyvale, CA on December 14th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

The reviewers who say that there is a lot of Bush bashing in this book must be hyper sensitive about any criticism of one of the worst presidents America has ever had. There is also no whining in this book either. However, it is poorly organized, and the author jumps between time periods way too often. There's also not many useful facts in this book either. The author even sounds a bit snobby and sometimes I found myself wondering how this book even got published. There are much better books than this one, so I think you'd be better off listening to something else - wish I did.

Inventing a Nation....

Written by Charles Weller from Brookings, OR on April 10th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Gore Vidal, in his recent history, Inventing a Nation, Washington,Adams, Jefferson, does something everyone talks about but fails to prove: he shows us how history if unlistened to will repeat itself. His insights are cross referenced with today's mess in our national political scene. The revelations are frightening. Clearly the founding fathers feared exactly what the present administration embodies: the running roughshod over the balances intended in the three branches of government. Executive power has now reached a level which borders on that of a monarch, a situation the framers of our constitution tried valiantly to avoid but did not. Vidal ties the present mess in Washington to the fears and causes which drove Washington, Adams, and Jefferson to lead this small group of malcontents called Americans to rebel against the unreasonable, self-serving rule of England. Read it: you will be frightened!

Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams and Jefferson

Written by Anonymous from Wakefield, RI on February 21st, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

This book does a poor job of jumping back and forth between historical and current events without drawing direct connections. If this were, perhaps, a complete history of the US then one could see the connections or a history of one specific topic (say ... foreign affairs with France) then it might work. I also found the author's liberal leaning, at times, too much to take. There are some unfounded leaps of logic. The jumps and leaps detracted from what may have been an outstanding book.

Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams and Jefferson

Written by Janice Church on January 11th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Best about this book is it will likely expand your vocabulary. The author provides a variety of keen historical insights but also jumps back and forth between history and current events, trying to draw parallels, which interrupts the flow. Good, but not as good as some other books that cover these topics.

Inventing a Nation: Washington, Adams and Jefferson

Written by Harry Fleenor on November 6th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I would like to give this book a minus 5. If you are a whinney liberal you will propably love this book. It does more Bush bashing than giving the history. If you want a very liberal biased book that speends much of the book engaging in 21st century liberal gooblydy gook - you'll love it. However if you are conservative, you will want to vomit before the first disc is done.

Inventing a Nation

Written by Denise Glover on October 2nd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 1/5

The droning voice of the narrator combined with the circuitous storytelling...I gave up! Sorry I can't recommend this one.

Author Details

Author Details

Vidal, Gore

Gore Vidal is the author of many bestselling novels including Julian, Burr, Myra Breckinridge, and Lincoln. He lives in Italy.