Thomas Mallon: Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years

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Thomas Mallon Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years
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Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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Adding to a fiction chronicle that has already spanned American history from the Lincoln assassination to the Watergate scandal, Thomas Mallon now 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. Along with Soviet dissidents, illegal-arms traders, and antinuclear activists, the novel’s memorable characters include 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. Several figures — including a humbled, crafty Richard Nixon; the young, brilliantly acerbic Christopher Hitchens; and an anxious, astrology-dependent Nancy Reagan (on the verge of a terrible realization) — become the eyes through which readers see the last convulsions of the Cold War, the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and a political revolution. 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. Finale is the book that Thomas Mallon’s work has been building toward for years. It is the most entertaining and panoramic novel about American politics since Advise and Consent, more than a half century ago.

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Thomas Mallon

Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years

In memory of Scott Carpenter

— and for Rene, Tom, and Kris

Blow the dust off the clock. Your watches are behind the times. Throw open the heavy curtains which are so dear to you — you do not even suspect that the day has already dawned outside.

— Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


(Those with names in quotation marks are entirely fictional.)

Antony Acland: British ambassador to the United States

Leonore (“Lee”) Annenberg: first chief of protocol of the United States under President Reagan; wife of Walter Annenberg

Walter Annenberg: publisher and philanthropist; former U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom

Marion S. Barry, Jr.: mayor of the District of Columbia

Shirley Temple Black: child film star and diplomat; chief of protocol of the United States under President Ford

Betsy Bloomingdale: widow of businessman Alfred Bloomingdale and friend of Nancy Reagan

Lindy Boggs: U.S. congresswoman (D-LA)

J. Carter Brown III: director of the National Gallery of Art

Patrick J. Buchanan: White House communications director

Pat Buckley: New York socialite and wife of William F. Buckley, Jr.

William F. Buckley, Jr.: conservative columnist and editor of National Review

George H. W. Bush: vice president of the United States

“Nicholas Carrollton”: staff assistant, Republican National Committee

Jimmy Carter: thirty-ninth president of the United States

Rosalynn Carter: former first lady of the United States

Carl “Spitz” Channell: president, National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty

Winston Churchill: Conservative member of Parliament; son of Pamela Harriman

“Peter Cox”: former Republican state senator from Michigan; political consultant and contributor

Elaine Crispen: press secretary to Nancy Reagan

Nicholas Daniloff: correspondent for U.S. News & World Report

Bette Davis: film actress; performed with Ronald Reagan in Dark Victory

Michael Deaver: lobbyist; former White House deputy chief of staff

Terry Dolan: cofounder and chairman, National Conservative Political Action Committee (NCPAC)

Bob Dole: U.S. senator (R-KS) and Senate majority leader

“James Dugan”: contributor to the National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir: fourth president of Iceland

Betty Ford: former first lady of the United States

Gerald R. Ford: thirty-eighth president of the United States

Eva Gabor: actress and television personality; businesswoman

Ellen Garwood: contributor to the National Endowment for the Preservation of Liberty

Lillian Gish: film actress

Mikhail Gorbachev: general secretary of the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R.

Raisa Gorbachev: first lady of the U.S.S.R.

Al Gore: U.S. senator (D-TN)

Tipper Gore: wife of Al Gore; cofounder, Parents Music Resource Center

Bob Graham: governor of Florida; Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

Cary Grant: film star

Merv Griffin: television host and show-business entrepreneur

“Neal Grover”: management analyst, National Security Council

Fawn Hall: secretary to Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North

Marvin Hamlisch: American composer and orchestra conductor

W. Averell Harriman: former governor of New York and ambassador to the U.S.S.R.

Pamela Harriman: founder and chairman of Democrats for the 80s (“PamPAC”); wife and widow of Averell Harriman

Kitty Carlisle Hart: actress; television personality; chair of the New York State Council on the Arts

Paula Hawkins: U.S. senator (R-FL)

“Jane Hazard”: Michigan delegate to the 1976 and 1996 Republican national conventions

John W. Hinckley, Jr.: failed assassin and mental patient

Christopher Hitchens: journalist

Ernest F. “Fritz” Hollings: U.S. senator (D-SC)

Rita “Peatsy” Hollings: wife of Ernest Hollings

Bob Hope: entertainer

Janet Howard: assistant to Pamela Harriman; executive director, Democrats for the 80s

John Hutton: White House physician

Thomas Victor Jones: chief executive officer of Northrop Corporation

Jeane J. Kirkpatrick: former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Henry A. Kissinger: U.S. secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford

“Sofya Kornilov”: Soviet human-rights activist and political prisoner

Jim Kuhn: executive assistant to President Reagan

“Anders Little”: deputy director, Defense Programs and Arms Control Division, National Security Council

“Anne Macmurray”: activist against nuclear weapons; ex-wife of Peter Cox

Edwin Meese: attorney general of the United States

Walter F. Mondale: former vice president of the United States

Edmund Morris: authorized biographer of Ronald Reagan

Daniel Patrick Moynihan: U.S. senator (D-NY)

Paul Nitze: special advisor to the president and secretary of state on arms control matters

Pat Nixon: former first lady of the United States

Richard M. Nixon: thirty-seventh president of the United States

Oliver L. North: lieutenant colonel, U.S. Marines; deputy director for political-military affairs, National Security Council

Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr.: speaker of the House of Representatives

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis: former first lady of the United States

John M. Poindexter: vice admiral, U.S. Navy; national security advisor

“Kelly Proctor”: staff assistant to Pamela Harriman at Democrats for the 80s

Joan Quigley: astrologer to Nancy Reagan

Irina Ratushinskaya: Soviet poet and dissident

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