Many historians have written about the Watergate conspiracy that brought down President Richard M. Nixon. But could a novelist throw new light on this traumatic moment in American political history?
Novelist Thomas Mallon does just that in Watergate, a satiric look at a landmark event. He discusses his novel on the 38th anniversary of Nixon's resignation: Thursday, August 9, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
Watergate views the crisis through a kaleidoscope of colorful perpetrators and investigators, providing the inference (and invention) that allows us to solve some of the scandal's greatest mysteries (who erased those 18 minutes of tape?) and to see this gaudy American catastrophe in its human entirety.
As Mallon presents it, this is an event of both drama and high comedy that takes readers from the private cabins of Camp David to the klieg lights of the Senate Caucus Room, from the District of Columbia jail to the Dupont Circle mansion of Theodore Roosevelt's sharp-tongued 90-year-old daughter, and into the hive of the Watergate complex itself.
Praised by the late Christopher Hitchens for his "splendid evocation of Washington," Mallon turns a "third-rate burglary" into a tumultuous, first-rate source of entertainment.
Raves The New York Times: "In this stealth bull's-eye of a political novel, Thomas Mallon invests the Watergate affair with all the glitter, glamour, suave grace and subtlety that it doesn't often get."
And according to Booklist: "Mallon ... is deliciously witty. But it is his political fluency and unstinting empathy that transform the Watergate debacle into a universal tragicomedy of ludicrous errors and malignant crimes, epic hubris and sorrow."
Admission is free. The event will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception. RSVP online  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available at the Library District Parking Garage at 10th & Baltimore.
Major funding for programs at the Kansas City Public Library is provided by a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.