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.
Gore Vidal’s fascination with power
Political Animal: Gore Vidal on Power
by Heather Neilson
Monash University Publishing, $39.95 pb, 220 pp, 9781921867682
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James McNamara was born in Western Australia in 1982. He holds degrees in English and Law from the University of Western Australia, a doctorate in English from Oxford, and graduated in screenwriting from AFTRS. He is the recipient ABR's third Ian Potter Foundation Fellowship for his essay 'The Golden Age of Television?'. He currently works in television.
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