Books: Short Notices: Apr. 28, 1967

WASHINGTON, D.C. by Gore Vidal. 377 pages. Little, Brown. $6.95.

Writing a novel about the capital is like writing one about Hollywood—even truth is parody. In this political fiction, Gore Vidal (The Best Man) tries hard to bring the Washington scene of 1937-52 to life, but to little avail.

At the center of the cast is James Burden Day, a Roosevelt-hating conservative Senator from the Southwest and contender for the presidential nomination. The characters, moving woodenly through a familiar plot about political chicanery, include the usual domineering millionaire publisher, the conniving businessman who keeps Senators in his pocket, the venal journalist, the young...

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