Books: Foundling Father

BURR

by GORE VIDAL

430 pages. Random House. $8.95.

It will be especially galling to those who hate and envy Gore Vidal to pick up Burr and discover that the gods of Julian the Apostate once again seem to have smiled broadly in his direction. Burr, a novel stretched tightly over the historical bones of Aaron Burr, could not have been published at a better time. There is scandal in the highest places. A constitutional storm is gathering in Washington, and interest in historical precedent is rising fast.

Aaron Burr seems particularly pertinent. The Burr-Jefferson Electoral College tie in 1800 led to the...

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