A Novel

Book - 2000
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For readers who can't get enough of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, Gore Vidal's stunning novel about Aaron Burr, the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel--and who served as a successful, if often feared, statesman of our fledgling nation.

Here is an extraordinary portrait of one of the most complicated--and misunderstood--figures among the Founding Fathers. In 1804, while serving as vice president, Aaron Burr fought a duel with his political nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, and killed him. In 1807, he was arrested, tried, and acquitted of treason. In 1833, Burr is newly married, an aging statesman considered a monster by many. But he is determined to tell his own story, and he chooses to confide in a young New York City journalist named Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler. Together, they explore both Burr's past--and the continuing civic drama of their young nation.

Burr is the first novel in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series, which spans the history of the United States from the Revolution to post-World War II. With their broad canvas and sprawling cast of fictional and historical characters, these novels present a panorama of American politics and imperialism, as interpreted by one of our most incisive and ironic observers.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 2000, c1973.
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed.
ISBN: 9780375708732
Branch Call Number: FICTION Vidal Gore
Characteristics: 430 p. ;,21 cm.


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Aaron Burr, sir.

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Jan 09, 2017

Amusing read, with so much wisdom delivered, that I, not the least, repress the urge to despise Jefferson.
The book is constructed with two parallel timelines - Burr's past and (Charlie's) present- fundamental for historical events and plot development. Even though its crux Charlie S (his amour Helen's murder seems to be a setup in order to publish a right version of his book, along with his birth identity, a contrived creation to appeal) is fictional, the book is mostly convincing.
I don't flip to glorify Burr, but I doubt he could have accomplished less than Hamilton had both not been killed (politically for Burr). He was a noble and intelligent man, failed politician, taking life in a less serious philosophical manner than what a statesman were required.

Dec 05, 2012

I waited months for this book but couldn't get through the whole thing. Similar to Julian, Gore Vidal's other biographical novel, it is written through both the subject and one of the characters in the book who is supposed to be writing the subject's biography. It jumps between the "current" life of an elderly Aaron Burr and the young biographer and the younger Burr found in the manuscripts. Again, this is similar to the template in Julian. Maybe that was why I found it less interesting - same structure, just different time and characters. These characters seemed less interesting and more angry/faulty than in Julian...all our "founding fathers" seemed to have had their warts revealed in this book.


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