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For most D.C. residents, the Potomac River is the lazy body of water that’s a little less smelly than the Anacostia, or at least clean enough to float rafts of party boats on summer Saturdays. For a history geek like Garrett Peck, who lives in Arlington, it’s the story of America: Invading armies had to cross it, construction materials for the Capitol had to travel on it, new residents had to drink from it (that was possible, once). Having exhausted his first area of expertise—the social history of alcohol, on which he’s already published three books—Peck has just finished a chronicle of and guide to Washington’s primary waterway, all the way from West Virginia to the Chesapeake watershed. Make your next tubing trip a little more educated.

Garrett Peck discusses his book at 7 p.m. at One More Page Books, 2200 N. Westmoreland St., Arlington. Free. onemorepagebooks.com. (703) 300-9746.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery