The Smithsonian Institution by Gore Vidal

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Synopsis

In 1939 a teenaged science prodigy is summoned to the Smithsonian and becomes involved in a scheme to change history. Combining themes from his American history novels with those from what Vidal calls his "inventions" ("Myra Breckinridge; Live from Golgotha"), "The Smithsonian Institution" presents a tour de force of outrageous satire and social commentary, seriousness and high spirits, autobiography and reportage, science fiction and historical romance, full of quintessentially Vidalian jokes Print ads. Author publicity (General Fiction) .
 

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 February 24, 1998 by Random House. 260 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Education & Reference, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Smithsonian Institution

Kirkus Reviews

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settles sturdily down to business, reassuring a depressed-looking Abraham Lincoln and a truculently pacifist Charles Lindbergh, explaining to Robert Oppenheimer just where Einstein went wrong, and, thanks to a jury-rigged thermostat, traveling about in ``innumerable parallel pasts.'' Only a cad w...

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Publishers Weekly

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Having astutely explored several historical periods in his fiction (Lincoln, etc.), Vidal has now produced an eccentric novel about a literal time machine and a boy who uses it to save the world (or one version of the world) from within the headquarters of Washington, D.C.'s public museum complex.

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Entertainment Weekly

T.'s formula proves the key to time travel, and, with the help of Mrs. Grover Cleveland (the First Ladies exhibit undergoes a kind of reanimation after hours), the young man decides the key to preventing World War II is preventing World War I -- which is to say, preventing Woodrow Wilson from bec...

Mar 27 1998 | Read Full Review of The Smithsonian Institution

People

It moves along, densities notwithstanding, and Vidal generally avoids his usual liberal sociopolitical agendas, but the novel ends in a flurry of time-space mumbo-jumbo.

Apr 06 1998 | Read Full Review of The Smithsonian Institution

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