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Book Information: Smithsonian Institution, the

Smithsonian Institution, the (1998) [Novel]
by Gore Vidal Rating: Weighted - 7.2 / Average - 7.0 of 10 (1 votes) (Rate!)
Reviews: None (show them) Review!

Summary (From the publisher):

(from the publisher)
It's 1939, and a teenage math genius is mysteriously summoned to the Smithsonian Institution, where a crash program to develop the atomic bomb is being conducted in the basement. The boy turns out to hold the key to both the secrets of nuclear fission and breakthroughs in the time continuum. As he brainstorms with Robert Oppenheimer, he catches a glimpse of the coming war. In a race against time—and surrounded by figures form American history past and present, including Albert Einstein, Grover Cleveland, and Abraham Lincoln—he battles to save not just himself, but humanity. A brilliantly imagined tale of some of the key events of our times, The Smithsonian Institution is a masterwork of comedy and allusion.

Original title: The Smithsonian Institution
Original languages: English


Genre: FictionHistoricalWorld War IIGeneral
FictionScience FictionWorld VersionsTime Travel
FictionScience FictionHumorous, Parody and Comedy
FictionScience FictionSocial Criticism
FictionHistoricalNorth AmericaNineteenth Century
FictionGeneral FictionHumorSatire
FictionScience FictionPolitical

Edition #1: Smithsonian Institution, the

Smithsonian Institution, the (1998)
Edition Details:

Language: English

  • "Playfully sexy, thought-provoking and immensely entertaining." Chicago Tribune
  • "Our most accomplished and commanding historical novelist." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
  • "A high-spirited tour of American history, romance and Washington politics interpreted by Vidal's unique brand of social commentary." The Denver Post
  • "Another merry riff on Washington power politics, struggles, and failures from the venerable curmudgeon and sage: an appealingly unholy marriage of Burr, Duluth, and a suavely Vidalian amalgam of Tom Sawyer and Tom Swift... This may be wisest book that Vidal—this incomparably urbane observer of our revered past, debased present, and unpromising future—has ever written. It is, as well, entertainment of the highest order. Even Norman Mailer will like this novel." Kirkus Reviews (starred)
  • "The Smithsonian Institution is a wild and wise celebration of the absurdities of American history." The Baltimore Sun
  • "Fans of Vidal's comic novels can expect the usual mixture of earthiness and erudition, though on a more restrained level; the novel provides the author with the chance to put words in the mouths of a dozen presidents, noted scientists, and pop culture heroes. Good fun, and sure to garner attention." Library Journal
  • "The Smithsonian Institution is, at once, a meditation on the course of American history, a look at the bizarre multiverse opened to us by quantum physics, and a playful romp ranging from dry wit to broad comedy. A lively read by a virtuoso." Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • "We can delight that, once again, Gore Vidal has turned his literary lights back upon not only the city of his youth, but also, fancifully, the corridors of the past.... An entertaining romp through time and space, and a thoughtful history lesson from a modern master." Sunday Oregonian
  • "This book is, for all its delightfully scathing wit and expert comic effects, a serious plea against the madness of war, a poignant elegy to a lost soldier, and a payment of heed to time lost and to all future time—future time that is perhaps as precarious a concept as any fictional device in the brilliantly imagined pages of The Smithsonian Institution." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "Vidal's gift for storytelling and mimicry remain in peak form." Chicago Sun-Times
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Manifested in:

Smithsonian Institution, the (February 24, 1998)

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0375501215
Pages: 260

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