You were right -- the worth of the thing is Gore Vidal. Why are there not more Gore Vidals in the United States? Not that this GV spent much time here in his last decades, and who could blame him?
I didn't know that bit about the Wyler-Vidal discussion as to the backstory of Young Hur (Heston) and Massala (Boyd). That is sooooooooooooooooooooo funny.