Most Charismatic #13: Gore Vidal

ALL-TIME AMERICAN WRITERS TOURNAMENT

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WHY are we doing this series about charismatic writers? To show that, at one time in this society, creative writers mattered. They were at the epicenter of society’s debates. One of those figures was Gore Vidal.

An intelligent and glib rich kid from a well-connected family of politicians, Vidal was raised to believe he could be President. Instead he became a novelist and essayist. A competent novelist. A brilliant essayist. At that time– the 1950’s and 60’s– in the wake of Hemingway and other literary giants, “novelist” was one of the most prestigious and valued roles a young man could aspire to. Right after President. The new television age pushed the most articulate and photogenic writers into the media spotlight– Gore Vidal among them.

We’ve made him #13 on our list of Charismatic American Writers.. Here’s his most famous appearance– his argument with William F. Buckley (himself a writer and editor) on national TV during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Contentious campaigns in American politics are not new!

NEXT: Also Rans #1
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