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Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia Paperback – August 17, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Yet please do not feel this is a slow, technical read...far from it. It moves briskly and unlike many offerings always shows where quotes came from and who said them. Mr. Vidal, along with Ms.Roy and Mr.Chomsky continue to be very meticulous here. Their knowledge greatly expands each book...allowing for greater thought, bringing us into area's not reported or covered.
For those who won't read this book...don't...you will not get anything from it. For those who respect knowledge and truth, you'll undoubtedly read it. My concern (and hope) is for those not quite sure. It is for you to grow and become (far) more knowledable. Put down the sports page, stop worrying about some millionaire, who will not hit his weight...and get involved.
Time is running out...The French Foreign Legion had a motto, 'March or Die.' For 2004 may I suggest, 'Learn or Die.' Thank you for taking the time to read this...and please read this book...Highly recommended.
The first and last essays alone are well worth the price of the book. Unlike certain policy makers today (almost all 'Chickenhawks') Vidal served in the military; unlike most (including a certain 'gentleman C student and-proud-of-it) Vidal knows his history. You may not agree but you should always find him thought provoking.
When the US is something like 25th in reading (despite the benefits of great English literature and many choices) this should be first on the list before the military history and heroes of myth. Unlike many books today it is the truth here that will both disturb and enchant.
It is a thoughtless, uninformed, superficial reading that would dismiss the some arguments as anti-Semitic or ideological and it is the early democratic spirit of the country not Marxism that informs his judgments. Thinking about the comments of Franklin, Jefferson, Adams quoted herein should make that clear. If people read it otherwise perhaps the Hollywood producer, quoted by Vidal in another context, assessing the general public as walking with its knuckles scrapping the ground was right?
By Gore Vidal
If you were already feeling that the task of reforming even one part of our federal government is too overwhelming, IMPERIAL AMERICA will only give you more data to confirm your skepticism. In a collection of articles written over the past 30 years, Vidal traces the imperialistic tendencies of the U. S. from the Founders but says that our current self-styled "war-time President" and his evil concept of pre-emptive war fulfills Ben Franklin's prediction at the Constitutional Convention that government, after a course of years, "can only end in Despotism". He does not mask his contempt for Bush's lies ("lies repeated often enough become truth") and abuse of language that serves to "disguise, not illuminate" ("Healthy Forest Initiative", etc.). Vidal the historian tells us that Imperialist attitudes were present in some degree from the nation's beginnings (Native Americans, slaves, Mexican war, Louisiana Purchase) but that real empire-building began with McKinley and T. Roosevelt. Imperial Presidential powers expanded --- always under the guise of "national security" --- under Lincoln and Wilson and have been used to justify all "hot" and "cold" wars since ---Korea, Vietnam, Panama, and Iraq. (Strangely, he faults poor Carter for NOT using executive privilege to fix the energy crisis.) FDR began rearmament, and Truman further militarized the economy, although he realized that he had to "scare the Hell" out of people to make them go along. Vidal notes that Imperialist governments "gain maximum power" over the people when citizens are in constant terror --- a perfect description of this nation's current status. Also, a permanent wartime footing is good for the economy!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This should be required reading for all high school students and repeated in university. It shows how our country has been hijacked by a few thieves; and why we are at constant... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Karim Mansouri
Gore Vidal was right on the money where this country is sinking in corruption, military establishment and businesses running rough shod. Read morePublished 2 months ago by benjones
Gore Vidal wrote several marvelous books but this isn't one of them. These essays are for the most part the rehashing of old ideas by a tired old man. Read morePublished 5 months ago by MAM
One of Vidal's worst. A diatribe of several hundred pages revealing nothing one didn't know about Vidal and his views.Published 5 months ago by Marz
This compilation of articles by Vidal, mostly written in the 1980s, was published in 2004. Only the last two articles are current. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Gderf
This book of essays exposes the story of America that most people have never read. Mr. Vidal knows his history and has a talent for exposing the dark contradictions and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Chet Lyons
Unique perspective and insights on a most interesting person in our lifetimePublished 17 months ago by 7-String Master