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  • Gore Vidal was an American writer and a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing. As Eugene Louis Vidal, he was born to a political family; his maternal grandfather was Thomas Pryor Gore, U.S. Senator for Oklahoma. As Gore Vidal, he was a Democratic Party politician who twice sought elected office; first to the House of Representatives, then to the Senate. As a political commentator and essayist, Vidal’s principal subject was the history of the United States and its society, especially how the militaristic foreign policy of the National Security State reduced the country to decadent empire. His political and cultural essays were published in The Nation, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, and Esquire magazine. As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal’s topical debates, on sex, politics, and religion with other public intellectuals and writers, occasionally became continual quarrels with the likes of William F. Buckley, Jr. and Norman Mailer.

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