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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "Political Melodramas" (1973) Summary & Analysis

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Irritated for the thousandth time by a television listing for his screenplay, The Best Man, which describes it as a "political melodrama," Vidal reflects in this essay on the many ways in which real world politics surpasses anything shown on stage or screen. For example, he recalls that in 1959 when he wrote the play the rivals for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party were Adlai Stevenson, "who was being smeared as a homosexual," John F. Kennedy, "who was being smeared as an altogether too active heterosexual as well as the glad beneficiary of his wealthy father's ability to buy elections," and Lyndon Johnson, "who was known to take cash for any political services rendered."

When Vidal based the evil candidate in his play on Richard Nixon, who is smeared unjustly...

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This section contains 321 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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