Gore Vidal, who died last summer at the age of 86, was both eloquent and caustic (he once said the Kennedy family, except for Jack, had “all the charm of two tons of condemned veal”). The four interviews with history professor Jon Wiener that make up I Told You So: Gore Vidal Talks Politics (OR) encompass a broad sweep of American history. But Vidal can never be serious for too long so the interviews are leavened with bits of gossip and personal revelations, like the remark that may send readers off in search of the pulpy mysteries he wrote under the pseudonym Edgar Box.

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