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Extended Audio Sample Inventing A Nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson Audiobook, by Gore Vidal Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (573 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gore Vidal Narrator: Paul Hecht, Gore Vidal Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2017 ISBN: 9781440780622
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Gore Vidal, one of the master stylists of American literature and an acute observer of American life and history, turns his literary and historiographic talent to a portrait of the formidable trio of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. In "Inventing a Nation", Vidal transports the reader into the minds, the living rooms (and bedrooms), the convention halls and the salons of Washington, Jefferson, Adams and others. We come to know these men, their opinions of each other, their worries about money and their concerns about creating a viable democracy. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 2/17/2014

    " Listening to a Gore Vidal book is kind of like listening to your incredibly smart, but aging, grandfather, who just happens to be a scholar of history...he obviously really knows his stuff, but his train of thought isn't as coherant as it used to be. Even though I learned a lot from this book, having a narrative that skipped across the decades, rather than sticking to chronological order, was distracting. The one saving grace was the humor that Mr. Vidal injects...some of his asides and personal observations on the people and events of the Revolutionary era made me laugh out loud (his one comment about "His Excellency and His Rotundity" - George Washington and John Adams - still makes me chuckle). Not a bad book at all...one of these days, I'll have to try the print version to see if I like it any better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul Miller | 2/10/2014

    " Though I often have differences with him, I've found Vidal to be a wonderful writer and thinker. Yet, I did not particularly enjoy this book. It was a bit dry and sometime dramatically dismissive of the accomplishments of some of its characters. His sometimes oddly placed political assertions also turned me off to the writing at times as well. This all being said, it was still a good brief read on the contributions of the first three Presidents of the United States. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Aaron Reese | 2/7/2014

    " What an incredibly worthless book. Vidal spends most of the book manipulating history to fit his ideals, then spends the rest complaining about how society is messed up "nowadays." I was confused as to why any renowned author would act like no one would notice that he is lying about some of the founders' motivations. Blatantly. This was the first Vidal book I read and it will certainly be the last. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 1/31/2014

    " I started reading this back in August and got through 3/4 of the book really easily. It was interesting and I loved all the snarky comments that were presented so dryly in the text. My only problem was that I come at this subject knowing almost nothing about American history, not being from the US. I feel that there were some things Vidal assumed the reader should know--not wrongly, since the majority of his audience would be aware of these things, but it made for some difficult reading on my end. This was ultimately what caused me to put the book aside for several months, and my lackluster drive to finish it finally. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 1/25/2014

    " Liked it...seemed a bit biased at points, but very good "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 1/21/2014

    " Put a twist on my view of history forever, good or bad? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sean Wylie | 1/21/2014

    " Wow, it takes a special kind of writer to be able to screw up the telling of the writing of the Constitution. Gore Vidal accomplished it. This type of history is right in my wheel-house and with so many interesting things to discuss and with such great characters - any idiot should be able to make this story readable. Mr. Vidal is a special kind of idiot because this was the most disjointed, sloppy history book I have experienced. This books needs a proper editor in the worst way. There is no semblance of order. Vidal starts with talking about George Washington's income problems, before heading to a discussion on the Louisiana purchase, then somehow makes a connection to the fraction relationship between modern day Republicans and Democrats, before taking a trip to Ben Franklin's behind-the-scene role in the French Revolution, and back again to house guests at Mount Vernon. Avoid this book and pickup literally any other book about the writing of the Constitution. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sonia | 1/20/2014

    " It wasn't very well written and there seemed to be a lot of sarcasm and references to "see how this bad choice ended up now" or other comments like that. I was not impressed. He seemed to want to point out all the bad decisions rather than the good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 12/25/2013

    " Always fascinating to see the behind the scenes work of the building of a great nation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim Klus-Salisbury | 11/23/2013

    " This is an interesting read and includes a lot of fun details and astute observations, but it's difficult to deal with Gore's constant pretentious, sometimes pompous asides. Still brilliant, but his style is becoming dated to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 columbialion | 11/10/2013

    " The real risks involved and the genius of the founders "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gideon Burton | 9/17/2013

    " Vidal's condescending political commentary interrupts an otherwise enjoyable history. This is a far cry from McCullough's John Adams biography. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eric | 7/27/2013

    " An interesting history that does not idealize the personalities. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rhys | 12/8/2012

    " I found this interesting as an exercise, to consider Vidal's views of American history. The perspective of one who is angry at America can provide provocative review of the relationships and actions of national historical figures. It is worth the short read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 10/4/2012

    " This was very informative book. I liked it well enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frederick Gault | 4/29/2012

    " Interesting but too brief. Also a bit confusing as G.V. rushed through alliances, political parties, legislation, judges, foreign politics and personal fewds. The topic would have been better served in a full-length book IMHO. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kris | 10/7/2011

    " Interesting, but filled with what I started to think of as "vidal-isms." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Libby Conners | 10/5/2011

    " I would have expected better proofreading from this author. Between the grammatical errors and the rambling, I could barely focus on the information being presented! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brent | 5/16/2011

    " Phenominal book on the framers and their intentions with the constitution...I read this on a flight to San Francisco earlier this month and I thought it was amazingly interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhonda | 3/23/2011

    " clever, witty, relevant. we picked this up because we so enjoyed the new HBO series on John Adams. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mare S | 3/4/2011

    " I'm not capable of well-written or even useful reviews when it comes to Gore Vidal. I love the man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angela | 11/16/2010

    " Put a twist on my view of history forever, good or bad? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jean | 8/29/2010

    " Always fascinating to see the behind the scenes work of the building of a great nation. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 6/19/2010

    " You can't get better than Vidal when it comes to American history essays. Both informative and entertaining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brad | 6/3/2010

    " A very brief overview of the founding of the country. But the interesting part is that Vidal mainly uses letters and notes from Washington, Adams, and Jefferson to tell the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aneel | 2/9/2010

    " Very gossipy. Gives a feeling for what these guys might have been like as people. It's fascinating material. It had never occurred to me how much the Founding Fathers were making it up as they went along. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 columbialion | 1/11/2010

    " The real risks involved and the genius of the founders "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sonia | 11/10/2009

    " It wasn't very well written and there seemed to be a lot of sarcasm and references to "see how this bad choice ended up now" or other comments like that. I was not impressed. He seemed to want to point out all the bad decisions rather than the good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rhys | 11/7/2009

    " I found this interesting as an exercise, to consider Vidal's views of American history. The perspective of one who is angry at America can provide provocative review of the relationships and actions of national historical figures. It is worth the short read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dennis | 9/14/2009

    " I don't normally enjoy history, but this writing did engage me.

    Must Read - 3
    Well-written - 5
    Important - 3
    Accessible - 5
    Kept My Attention - 5 "

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About the Author
Author Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal (1925–2012) has received the National Book Award, written numerous novels, short stories, plays, and essays. He has been a political activist and as Democratic candidate for Congress from upstate New York, he received the most votes of any Democrat in a half-century.

About the Narrator

Paul Hecht’s long career in audiobooks spans dozens of titles and authors as varied as Ray Bradbury and Gore Vidal, Jack Finney and Thomas Mann. He has recorded such books as Bob Dole’s One Soldier’s Story and Alexander McCall Smith’s Portuguese Irregular Verbs and At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances. Hecht’s theater career in New York includes many Broadway and television credits. He has won nine AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations.