Books: Schuyler/Vidal on the Way It Was

I admit that our Presidents have very little to do. The Congress governs—and does most of the stealing.

The horsecar swayed and rattled down Fifth Avenue. At the car's center a small potbellied stove gave off insufficient heat, and mephitic fumes. On the floor was straw as Insulation. My fellow passengers were mostly men, mostly bearded, mostly potbellied like the stove. In fact, saving the desperate poor, everyone in New York is overweight: it seems to be the style.

Americans have always lived entirely in the present, and this generation is no different from mine except that now there is more of a...

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