The Gore Vidal Letters

The Vidal/Kauffman correspondence


Bill Kauffman, a Reason staffer in the 1980s, describes and quotes liberally from his longtime correspondence with the late Gore Vidal. The tone of Vidal's letters, Kauffman writes, "was often light self-mockery, unless the subject was, say, Arthur Schlesinger Jr." My favorite quote is Vidal's kinder-than-expected (though still mocking) assessment of Newt Gingrich: "he's the blueprint for the 1st (post-Lincoln) dictator—New Age, spacey, Fun."