Speaking of books...

APRIL 26, 2007

Raymond J. Batvinis, The Origins of FBI Counterintelligence. The author, a former FBI agent, has delved into the early days of the FBI, when J. Edgar Hoover transformed the Bureau from a small law enforcement unit into the one of the most powerful organs of government. Batvinis analyzes both the Bureau’s successes and failures, as well as its relationships with other government agencies and foreign partners, such as British intelligence. Noon. The International Spy Museum, 800 F St. NW, (202) 393-7798.

John Ghazvinian, The Scramble for Africa’s Oil. Oxford historian Ghazvinian traveled to Africa’s top oil producers — from well-established exporters like Nigeria to newer players like Gabon — to find out why these resource-rich economies remain mired in poverty and graft. Just to be sure, he took along a money-belt full of cash in case he needed to grease the wheels along the way. 6 p.m. The Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Rome Auditorium, 1619 Massachusetts Ave. NW. RSVP required, (202) 363-7738 or bkogod@politics-prose.com.


APRIL 29

Liza Mundy, Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Men, Women, and the World. The Washington Post’s Mundy has tackled the baby-making business, now raking in $3 billion a year in fertility drugs alone and growing. Her critically acclaimed book covers the scientific, ethical, and emotional angles of the assisted-reproduction revolution. 5 p.m. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 364-1919.


MAY 3

Laura Lippman, What the Dead Know: A Novel. Thirty years after two sisters vanished from a shopping mall, a frazzled woman emerges from a hit-and-run accident in Maryland and says she is the younger of the two. The novel unpacks the case bit by bit through the different perspectives of the key protagonists. Lippman’s reading and the book discussion will also raise money for the Wish You Well literacy foundation. 6:30 p.m., The Lyceum Museum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria, Va. (703) 838-4994.

Chris Finan, From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will introduce Finan and his book, which ranges from the Scopes Trial to McCarthyism to the Patriot Act. Finan details the long list of culprits who have tried to censor American speech over the past century while acknowledging that, in many cases, they thought they were working for the greater good. Finan is chairman of the National Coalition Against Censorship. 7 p.m.  Olsson’s at The Lansburgh/Penn Quarter, 418 7th St. NW, (202) 638-7610.