Gore Vidal: Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

How We Got to Be So Hated

Nation Books, 2002     Amazon.com

Book Description:

The United States has been engaged in what the great historian Charles A. Beard called “perpetual war for perpetual peace.” The Federation of American Scientists has cataloged nearly 200 military incursions since 1945 in which the United States has been the aggressor. In a series of penetrating and alarming essays, whose centerpiece is a commentary on the events of September 11, 2001 (deemed too controversial to publish in this country until now) Gore Vidal challenges the comforting consensus following September 11th and goes back and draws connections to Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. He asks were these simply the acts of “evil-doers”?

“Gore Vidal is the master essayist of our age.”  Washington Post

“Our greatest living man of letters.”  Boston Globe

“Vidal’s imagination of American politics is so powerful as to compel awe.”  Harold Bloom, The New York Review of Books


“Vidal writes with verve, passion and style that complements [his] controversial views.”  Walter Russell Mead, Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct 2002

“[Vidal] provides plenty of examples to sustain his shimmering abhorrence for current American politics…Challenging as ever.”  Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2002

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All original writing and photography © Jan Olof Bengtsson

"A Self-realized being cannot help benefiting the world. His very existence is the highest good."
Ramana Maharshi