Washington, D.C.
by Gore Vidal

A novel about wealth and politics and promiscuity from the FDR era to 1952. Too much of the book is about the fictitious characters, not enough about history. The main characters are unlikeable.
"Yes, that was how Roosevelt saw himself, whispering to monarchs, obscuring domestic failures with foreign pageants." (86)

"Lately Peter found himself, to his disgust, using jargon words like "relationship," picked up from Aeneas and his friends who, to a man, were addicted to the opulent vocabulary of psychiatry, a pseudo-science now in vogue, even more than phrenology had been during the previous century. But though Peter found touching the belief of the simple in these new mysteries, he was alarmed when intellectuals attempted to redefine art and life in terms borrowed from the mental therapists, who meanwhile, like the early church fathers, warred with one another, each maintaining that his was the truth and all else heresy. The first victim in these stormy quarrels had been the English language. Eager to illuminate interpersonal activity, words were made up exactly as if this elaborate game were a science in which new things heretofore unknown must be named." (178)

Year Read: 1998


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