Stephen Harris completed his Ph.D. in American Literature at the University of New England. He teaches literary and cultural studies at the University of New England (N.S.W., Australia), specialising in courses on American Literature and Journalism and Literature. Dr. Harris has a continuing interest in contemporary historical fiction of American and Australia, and has commenced on a comparative study of these two cultures in terms of their respective cultural and social expressions of individualism.2005 0-7734-6031-4
As a writer of sophisticated historical fiction, satirical fantasies and incisive essays on the political and cultural condition of America, Gore Vidal’s reputation is well-established. This study explores Gore Vidal’s use of classical scepticism in his historical novels and in his politics. While a great deal has been written about Vidal, there has not yet been published a serious analysis of his philosophical approach to the reading and interpretation of history, and how this in turn informs the writing of his historical fiction. What this study offers is a full understanding of how Vidal’s sceptical and dissenting views reflect the mind of a politically committed and serious thinker, and, in turn, how these views directly inform the creation of a body of writing that is as intellectually challenging as it is engagingly varied in form and character.