Narratives of Empire
The Narratives of Empire series is a heptalogy of historical novels, by Gore Vidal, published between 1967 and 2000, which chronicle the dawn-to-decadence history of the American Empire; the narratives interweave the personal stories of two families with the personages and events of U.S. history. Despite the publisher's preference for the politically neutral series-title “American Chronicles”, the author Vidal preferred the series-title “Narratives of Empire”. The seven narratives of empire can be read in either historical or publication order without losing narrative intelligibility.
|Order||Title||Story timeline||Description||Historical characters||Fictional characters||Published||In order of publication|
|1||Burr||1775–1808, 1833–1836, 1840||Aaron Burr's story about the Founding Fathers chronicles the beginnings of the U.S. as a country and as a nation||Aaron Burr, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Dolley Madison, Davy Crockett, Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, William Leggett, Helen Jewett, William Cullen Bryant, Samuel Swartwout, Edwin Forrest, Washington Irving||Charlie Schuyler, Carolina de Traxler, William de la Touche Clancey||1973||2nd|
|2||Lincoln||1861–1865, 1867||Abraham Lincoln's presidency and the disloyalties — internal and external — he overcame to save the Union||Abraham Lincoln, John Hay, John Nicolay, Elihu Washburne, Mary Todd Lincoln, William Seward, Salmon P. Chase, David Herold, Mary Surratt, John Wilkes Booth, Kate Chase, William Sprague||William Sanford, Charlie Schuyler, Emma Schuyler d'Agrigente, William de la Touche Clancey||1984||4th|
|3||1876||1875–1877||The theft of the United States presidential election, 1876 and its aftermath, when candidate Samuel J. Tilden lost the Electoral College vote to Rutherford B. Hayes, despite Tilden's having won the popular vote||Samuel J. Tilden, James G. Blaine, Roscoe Conkling, James A. Garfield, Mark Twain, James Gordon Bennett, Jr., Madame Restell, Ward McAllister||Charlie Schuyler, Emma Schuyler d'Agrigente, John Day Apgar, William Sanford, Denise Delacroix Sanford, William de la Touche Clancey||1976||3rd|
|4||Empire||1898–1907||The birth of the American Empire at the turn of the 20th Century||John Hay, William Randolph Hearst, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, George Dewey, William Jennings Bryan, Elihu Root, Henry Adams, Henry James||Caroline Sanford, Blaise Sanford, James Burden Day, John Apgar Sanford, Mrs. Delacroix||1987||5th|
|5||Hollywood||1917–1923||How the movies shaped the national identity and worldview of the people of the U.S., by the new film business, at Hollywood, California||Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Jess Smith, George Creel||Caroline Sanford, Blaise Sanford, James Burden Day||1990||6th|
|6||Washington, D.C.||1937–1952||Political life during the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman||Blaise Sanford, Peter Sanford, James Burden Day, Clay Overbury||1967||1st|
|7||The Golden Age||1939–1954, 2000||The American Empire matures in the Second World War and its decay and decline in the Cold War; the finale presents the U.S. at the turn of the twenty first century||Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Hopkins, Harry S. Truman, Gore Vidal||Caroline Sanford, Blaise Sanford, Peter Sanford, James Burden Day, Clay Overbury||2000||7th|
- Vidal, Gore. (2006) Point to Point Navigation: a memoir, 1964 to 2000, p. 123.