The Conclusion to the American Chronicles

Italy, 1968
Estonia, 1972
Netherlands, 1970s
China, 1981
Hungary, 1973

Gore Vidal wrote his American Chronicles semi-backwards. He began the series in 1967 with what would become the final book - if you arrange the books in the chronology of American history. That book, Washington, D.C. (pictured above), covered the years 1937-1954. It was a huge best seller in the U.S. and received wide critical acclaim. Then, in 1973, Vidal wrote Burr, which would be the first book in the Chronicles in terms of the era of American history that it explores (the late 18th Century). The first five books of the series - Burr, Lincoln, 1876, Empire, Hollywood - build upon one another, and all of them are widely translated around the world.

FEATURED PAGE: A slide show of covers from Washington, D.C. and The Golden Age

But when Vidal reached the early 20th Century with his 1991 novel Hollywood, he realized that Washington, D.C. didn't quite fit the other books in tone and scope. So he wrote The Golden Age (pictured below), which covers virtually the same years and the involves the same characters as Washington, D.C., but which better fits the flow of his American Chronicles, which largely emerged in the years after Burr. The two books go together relatively well, each exploring the same time period, but from different perspectives and with a focus on different events. Only here and there does Vidal make a "mistake" in The Golden Age that contradicts something he wrote 33 years earlier in Washington, D.C. What, then, is the "true" ending to the series? Read them all and decide for yourself.

These Chronicles have been so popular around the world that the Bulgarian publisher Ciela has issued the first six books in uniform Bulgarian editions, joining several earlier Bulgarian translations of the Chronicles.

Brazil, 2001
Spain, 2002
Catalan, 2002
Germany, 2001
Italy, 2001

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