By Helen Fessenden - 06/08/07 06:53 PM EDT
Jules Witcover, Very Strange Bedfellows: The Short and Unhappy Marriage of Richard Nixon & Spiro Agnew. Retired Baltimore Sun reporter Witcover dissects the relationship of one of Washington’s oddest odd couples using fresh material from the White House tapes. As The Hill’s Al Eisele recently wrote, the author makes the case that Agnew “should have filed for divorce from Nixon, rather than the other way around.” Witcover should know: He covered both men when they were in power. 7 p.m., Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 364-1919.
Kevin Merida, Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas. Along with fellow Washington Post reporter Michael A. Fletcher, Merida took five years to research the most solitary member of the über-reclusive Supreme Court. Along the way, they take on such issues as Anita Hill, Thomas’s conservative jurisprudence and his estrangement from most black Americans. 7 p.m., Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, (202) 364-1919.
Letitia Baldridge, Taste: Acquiring What Money Can’t Buy. What is taste? Do Washingtonians have it? Baldridge would know, having served as Jacqueline Kennedy’s social secretary and chief of staff. Her bottom line: A well-trained eye, rather than a thick wallet, is where to start. 5 p.m., Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW, (202) 639-1700. Admission is $15 for nonmembers.
Jenni Bergal, City Adrift: New Orleans Before and After Katrina. Bergal and six other journalists were commissioned by the Center for Public Integrity to take a fresh look at the Katrina tragedy and dissect exactly what went wrong, and when. From the region’s ecological fragility to local political corruption to the shortcomings in Washington, their bleak account leaves no stone unturned. 7 p.m., Olsson’s at The Lansburgh/Penn Quarter, 418 7th St. NW, (202) 638-7610.
James Carroll, House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power. When Carroll was a little boy, he played in the labyrinthine halls of the Pentagon, where his father worked as an Air Force general. He has come full circle since then to write a sweeping Chomskyian critique of the military-industrial complex and the roots of “American militarism.” 7 p.m., Olsson’s Crystal City, 2200 Crystal Drive, Arlington, Va., (703) 413-8121.
Compiled by Helen Fessenden. Future book events may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.