Gore Vidal: It was a book about the absolute normality of “same-sexuality,” as it was sometimes called. Remember, I spent all my life not only in boys’ schools, but here I am stuck in three years of the Army. I knew exactly what went on in the real world. It was Walt Whitman who said, “No one will ever know what goes on in armies.” Everybody thought it was the bloodshed and so on. Whitman was after different game. I knew what went on in the real world, and I thought, well, nobody would write about it.