Burr by Gore Vidal
A Novel

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It is a clever book, the elegant conception of a spirited professional.


For readers who can’t get enough of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton,Gore Vidal’s stunning novel about Aaron Burr, the man who killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel—and who served as a successful, if often feared, statesman of our fledgling nation.   

Here is an extraordinary portrait of one of the most complicated—and misunderstood—figures among the Founding Fathers. In 1804, while serving as vice president, Aaron Burr fought a duel with his political nemesis, Alexander Hamilton, and killed him. In 1807, he was arrested, tried, and acquitted of treason. In 1833, Burr is newly married, an aging statesman considered a monster by many. But he is determined to tell his own story, and he chooses to confide in a young New York City journalist named Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler. Together, they explore both Burr's past—and the continuing civic drama of their young nation.
Burr is the first novel in Gore Vidal's Narratives of Empire series, which spans the history of the United States from the Revolution to post-World War II. With their broad canvas and sprawling cast of fictional and historical characters, these novels present a panorama of American politics and imperialism, as interpreted by one of our most incisive and ironic observers.

About Gore Vidal

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Gore Vidal is the author of many bestselling novels including Julian, Burr, Myra Breckinridge, and Lincoln. He lives in Italy.
Published August 31, 2011 by Vintage. 448 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Burr
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Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Nov 01 2008

It is a clever book, the elegant conception of a spirited professional.

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NY Times

Reviewed by CHRISTOPHER LEHMANN-HAUPT on Oct 25 2008

"Burr" remains a dazzling entertainment, a tour de force of historical imagination, a devastating analysis of America's first principals.

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Reviewed by Adam Kirsch on Aug 14 2012

What makes “Burr” unique among major American political novels is not just its debunking of American legend as its sheer insouciance.

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Reviewed by Truth Dig on Aug 18 2012

A novel that struck at the ankles of the notion that the United States is a country founded by altruistic do-gooders whose highest ambition was the creation and protection of the Constitution.

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