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Gore Vidal's 1973 novel in the guise of a memoir of Burr's life is told with plenty of gossipy detail. Charles Schermerhorn Schuyler, an ambitious journalist, is writing an anonymous pamphlet to prove that Martin Van Buren (Jackson's vice-president) is the bastard son of Aaron Burr. Schuyler wants not to harm Burr, but to ruin Van Buren. (As Vidal famously said, "It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.") Burr, thinking that Schuyler is writing a biography, gives him a memoir. The novel combines Schuyler's point of view with Burr's own memoir, and during the course of the double narrative, Schuyler discovers the truth about Van Buren--and about himself.  

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