Gore Vidal was an American author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and political activist. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality. He also ran for political office twice and has been a longtime political critic. He was a succesful television writer in the 1950s, a succesful Broadway playwrite, and his novels, from satires like Myra Breckenridge to historical novels such as Lincoln and Burr, were often both critically acclaimed and bestsellers. He was also one of America's most astute literary critics, writing extensive, insightful essays on underappreciated writers ike William Dean Howells and Dawn Powell for the New York Review of Books. He was extremely prolific, writing plays, feature screenplays, and teleplays, and publishing 25 books of nonfiction, 27 novels, and other books under pseudonyms.