Empire, the fourth novel in Gore Vidal's monumental six-volume chronicle of the American past, is his prodigiously detailed portrait of the United States at the dawn of the twentieth century as it begins to emerge as a world power.------While America struggles to define its destiny, beautiful and ambitious Caroline Sanford fights to control her own fate. One of Vidal's most in-spired creations, she is an embodiment of the complex, vigorous young nation. From the back offices of her Washington newspaper, Caroline confronts the two men who threaten to thwart her ambition: William Randolph Hearst and his protg, Blaise Sanford, Caroline's half brother. In their struggles for power the lives of brother and sister become intertwined with those of Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt, as well as Astors, Vanderbilts, and Whitneys--all incarnations of America's Gilded Age.------Mr. Vidal demonstrates a political imagination and insider's sagacity equaled by no other practicing fiction writer, said The New York Times Book Review. Like the earlier novels in his historical cycle, Empire is a wonderfully vivid documentary drama.------With a new Introduction by the author.From the Hardcover edition.