Gore Vidal authored the historical novels Burr and Lincoln, wrote plays and provocative essays, ran for office twice — and lost — and frequently appeared on TV talk shows. His play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.
In Gore Vidal's New York Times obituary, Charles McGrath described the writer as "the elegant, acerbic all around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization." Vidal died Tuesday at the age of 86.
Holy mackerel, it's the holy site edition of the podcast. NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin look back at the memorable — and controversial — moments of Mitt Romney's foreign trip, and then look ahead to the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions.
Also, a new Tea Party star is born in the Lone Star State.
Lee Maynard's 1988 semi-autobiographical novel Crum is set in the small, poor West Virginia town where he grew up. The people of Crum who know the book tend to love it or hate it. It was even banned for several years in a state-run store. The sequel, Screaming With the Cannibals, which came out five years later, got his protagonist Jesse Stone out of West Virginia, across the Tug River into Kentucky.
This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.