NPR : Fresh Air

Fresh Air Remembers Writer And Critic Gore Vidal

Play associated audio

In Gore Vidal's New York Times obituary, Charles McGrath described the writer as "the elegant, acerbic all around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization." Vidal died Tuesday at the age of 86.

Some of the books Vidal became best known for were historical novels including Burr and Lincoln. As Reed Johnson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, "Vidal's revisionist outlook struck some critics as brilliant and others as almost gleefully perverse."

Vidal's satirical novel Myra Breckinridge is believed to be the first novel to feature a transsexual. His plays include the political drama The Best Man, which is currently back on Broadway, and his screenplays include Ben Hur. He wrote many provocative essays, ran for office twice — and lost — and frequently appeared on TV talk shows, where he famously sparred with William Buckley and Norman Mailer.

Vidal described himself as obsessed with America; his grandfather was a senator and his father served in Roosevelt's Cabinet. Terry Gross spoke with Vidal in 1988 and 1992. Fresh Air remembers the writer and critic with excerpts from those two interviews.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
NPR

Me-Tea-Morphosis: Tea Bags Get Second Life As Works Of Art

Artists are reinventing the humble tea bag, letting its contents and simple shape and color shine in beautiful, fragile art. Some are even farming out the tea drinking to get to the used bags.
NPR

President Obama Addresses African Union In Ethiopia

President Obama addressed the African Union in Ethiopia on Tuesday, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so. He encouraged African leaders to end political corruption.
NPR

Researchers Warn Against 'Autonomous Weapons' Arms Race

Already, researcher Stuart Russell says, sentry robots in South Korea "can spot and track a human being for a distance of two miles – and can very accurately kill that person."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.