From Gore Vidal appreciation: Writer served as canary in a coal mine, by David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic:
For Vidal, contemporary America could be best interpreted as a reflection of ancient Rome: a republic that had become an empire and, in so doing, had fallen prey to empire’s corruptions, empire’s woes. This is the story to which he returned, in both his writing and his public appearances, and it illustrates a fundamental tension that he never quite resolved. Vidal, after all, was both insider and outsider: an aristocrat who saw the failings of the aristocracy, a true believer whose belief had been betrayed.
- Aug. 3, 2012