Political Animal: Gore Vidal on Power
Monash University Publishing, $39.95 pb, 220 pp, 9781921867682
American writer Gore Vidal was an intimate of political power. His grandfather was a US senator; his father served as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Director of Air Commerce. When his mother remarried, to Hugh Auchincloss, Vidal obtained a descendant of Vice President Aaron Burr as a stepfather. Later, Hugh remarried Janet Bouvier, and her daughter – the future Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis – became Vidal’s stepsister. Jackie took over Vidal’s childhood bedroom at the Auchincloss estate and wore his old shirts riding. They shared three nephews between them. Gore and Jacqueline’s husband, John F. Kennedy, were close.