Join us at Roosevelt House as we welcome Thomas Mallon, one of the finest historical novelists at work today, who will discuss his new book Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years. Mallon’s latest novel adds to a fiction chronicle that has already spanned American history from the Lincoln assassination, in Henry and Clara, to the Watergate scandal, and brings to life the tumultuous administration of the most consequential and enigmatic president in modern times.

Finale captures the crusading ideologies, blunders, and glamour of the still-hotly-debated Reagan years, taking readers to the political gridiron of Washington, the wealthiest enclaves of Southern California, and the volcanic landscape of Iceland, where the president engages in two almost apocalyptic days of negotiation with Mikhail Gorbachev. The novel includes Mallon’s trademark mix of historical and fictional figures, among them Nancy Reagan, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher, Jimmy Carter, Pamela Harriman, John W. Hinckley, Jr. (Reagan’s would-be assassin), and even Bette Davis, with whom the president had long ago appeared onscreen. At the center of it all – but forever out of reach – is Ronald Reagan himself, whose genial remoteness confounds his subordinates, his children, and the citizens who elected him.

Writing in The New York Times Book Review, Robert Draper called Mallon “a poised storyteller who traffics in history’s ironic creases. His novels don’t upend conventional wisdom so much as remind us that history is a rickety architecture of human endeavor,” and praised Finale as a “galloping narrative.”

Mallon will be in conversation with Bill Goldstein, programming curator at Roosevelt House and book reviewer for NBC’s Weekend Today in New York.

The event will be followed by a reception and book signing. Join Us! 

Thomas Mallon – Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years | Posted on November 3rd, 2015 | Book Discussions, Public Programs