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February 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

An Evening With David Finkel and David Lawrence Jr.


Books & Books


February 26
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Coral Gables Congregational Church
3010 De Soto Blvd.
Coral Gables, 33134 United States
+ Google Map


The Books & Books Literary Foundation presents…



An American Dreamer: Life in a Divided Country

(Random House, $32.00)

Monday, February 26th, 7:00 PM

@ The Coral Gables Congregational Church: 3010 De Soto Blvd.


When Books & Books’ founder Mitchell Kaplan was thinking of ways to combat the erosion of our democracy through literary programming, his mind automatically focused on a man who has been a tireless champion of journalism and democracy throughout his life. David Lawrence, Jr. is a brilliant newspaper editor and publisher who has championed children and their right to have a chance to succeed. We’ve tapped his expertise to serve as host and curator of a special series that will focus on conversations surrounding “the tenuous nature of our democracy”. On Keeping Our Republic is a new series that comes at a time when people need to be reminded about the importance of saving our democracy and the role of journalists, thinkers and writers as truth tellers and bastions of our democracy. 

“Finkel’s account is poetic, profound, and irresistibly page turning.” –Geraldine Brooks, author of Horse

This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.


About the Book:

An immersive account of a man navigating the startling changes underway in contemporary America, from the Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Award–winning author of The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service.

“Finkel’s account is poetic, profound, and irresistibly page turning.” –Geraldine Brooks, author of Horse

Brent Cummings, an Iraq war veteran, has come home feeling he survived one war only to find himself in the midst of another one. The country he loves and defended for twenty-eight years seems to be unraveling in front of his eyes. Raised to believe in a vision of America that values fairness, honesty, and respect for others, Cummings is increasingly engulfed by the fear and anger sweeping through his beloved country as he tries to hold onto hope about America’s future.

David Finkel, known for his unique, in-depth reporting, spent fifteen years immersed in Brent Cummings’s world to create this intimate, acutely observed, and beautifully written portrait of a man’s life, community, thoughts and feelings as America becomes ever more divided. Cummings was one of the unforgettable figures in Finkel’s The Good Soldiers, a book about which The New York Times stated, “Finkel has made art out of a defining moment in history. You will be able to take this book down from the shelf years from now and say, ‘This is what happened. This is what it felt like.’”

Like George Packer and Tracy Kidder, Finkel chronicles the everyday experiences of people, through moments of hope and despair, illuminating the struggles of many Americans today in a deeply fractured country at a time of crisis.


About the Author:

David Finkel is the national enterprise editor at The Washington Post. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. A MacArthur Fellowship recipient, he is the author of Thank You for Your Service and The Good Soldiers. He lives in Maryland.

About the Host:

David Lawrence, Jr. retired in 1999 as publisher of The Miami Herald to work in the area of early childhood development and readiness after a long and illustrious career in journalism. During his tenure at The Miami Herald, the paper won five Pulitzer Prizes. He is president of The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and “Education and Community Leadership Scholar” at the University of Miami’s School of Education and Human Development. In 2002 and 2008 he led successful campaigns for The Children’s Trust, a dedicated source of early intervention and prevention funding for children in Miami-Dade. He is the founding chair. He was a key figure in passing a statewide constitutional amendment in 2002 to provide pre-K for all 4 year olds. He is a board member and former chair of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade and Monroe. The David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Public School opened in 2006. An endowed chair in early childhood studies is established in his name at the University of Florida College Of Education. Before coming to Miami in 1989, Mr. Lawrence was publisher and executive editor of the Detroit Free Press. Before that he served as editor of the Charlotte Observer, and earlier in reporting and editing positions at four newspapers. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, named “Outstanding Journalism Graduate” and subsequently so named from the Advanced Management program at the Harvard Business School. His 12 honorary doctorates include one from his alma mater, the University of Florida. His national honors include the Ida B. Wells Award “for exemplary leadership in providing minorities employment opportunities” and the National Association of Minority Media Executives award for “lifetime achievement in diversity.” He was inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2010.