A Nobel Peace Prize recipient beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003, Mother Teresa of Calcutta was celebrated by heads of state and adored by millions for her work on behalf of the poor. In his measured critique, Hitchens asks only that Mother Teresa's reputation be judged by her actions - not the other way around. With characteristic élan and rhetorical dexterity, Hitchens eviscerates the fawning cult of Teresa, recasting the Albanian missionary as a spurious, despotic, and megalomaniacal operative.
"Christipher goes where everyone is afraid to go."
From the author of the acclaimed novel Watergate comes a galvanizing new novel about the tumultuous administration of the most consequential and enigmatic president of modern times - Ronald Reagan. Finale takes listeners to the political gridiron of Washington in 1986, 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.
"Sophisticated gossip gives way to poignancy"
For all the monumental documentation that Watergate generated - uncountable volumes of committee records, court transcripts, and memoirs - it falls at last to a novelist to perform the work of inference (and invention) that allows us to solve some of the scandal’s greatest mysteries - who did erase those eighteen-and-a-half minutes of tape? - and to see this gaudy American catastrophe in its human entirety. In Watergate, Thomas Mallon conveys the drama and high comedy of the Nixon presidency through the urgent perspectives of seven characters we only thought we knew.
"A great listen"
"A religious fundamentalist, a political operative, a primitive sermonizer, and an accomplice of worldly secular powers. Her mission has always been of this kind. The irony is that she has never been able to induce anybody to believe her. It is past time that she was duly honored and taken at her word." Among his many books, perhaps none have sparked more outrage than The Missionary Position, Christopher Hitchens's meticulous study of the life and deeds of Mother Teresa.
"Succinct and amazing."
In this issue: "The Next Great Famine", by Amy Davidson; "Sisters in Law", by Katherine Zoepf; "The Mogul of the Middle", by Tad Friend; and "A View from the Fringe", by Thomas Mallon.
"The First Served", by Adam Gopnik; "Grecian Formula", by Lizzie Widdicombe; "Debt by Degrees", by James Surowiecki; "Sacred Grounds", by Kelefa Sanneh; "Never Happened", by Thomas Mallon; "Time Indefinite", by Sasha Frere-Jones; and "Better Times", by Anthony Lane.
Novelist and essayist Mallon talks with Freeman, critic and American editor of Granta, about the great, lost art of letter writing and the current frenzy of electronic messaging. A discussion with the audience ensues.