We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

A tech-stock-bubble tome penned by a film critic for the New Yorker? It’s not as risky a venture as it may seem: In American Sucker, David Denby likens the craft of dissecting Wall Street to the craft of dissecting, well, Wall Street. After all, critics, like investors, “live on a narrow margin of hope, eager to grab on to a winner,” be it artistic or commercial. Denby’s book benefits from the relationships he forges with a pair of high-profile fallen dot-commers: Merrill Lynch analyst Henry Blodget and ImClone CEO Sam Waksal. When Waksal (who, in happier times, had invited the critic to speak about film at his SoHo loft) pleaded guilty to six charges in federal court, Denby was there to shake his hand and shed a tear. But Denby’s also something of an everyman who, like countless Americans, paid a price for his own early-’00s tech-stock obsession. Ultimately, his friends’ high-profile failures highlight the potential of his own aspirations: “My desires, taken to their ends, had turned to criminal behavior.” Denby speaks at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Joe Dempsey)