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JULY 24

In a city where ideals and decadence go together like drinking buddies, scandals are bound to be as common as tap water (and possibly less harmful to the average resident). That in mind, Eyes to My Soul: The Rise or Decline of a Black FBI Agent grabs more than the 15 minutes of public memory generally allotted political tell-alls. Tyrone Powers’ insider account of Bill Clinton’s favorite federal agency is the latest nail in the coffin of the FBI’s public image. The book chronicles Powers’ life from his impoverished youth in Baltimore to the pinnacle—or rather depths—of federal moledom. What will probably set this book apart from its siblings is the fact that it is actually an autobiography. Beyond the FBI saga, Powers offers insight into his life as an African-American male growing up on the down side of Charm City. Literary merit aside, however, Eyes dishes with the best of them. Low points include students at the FBI academy who dress up as Klansmen and attempt to terrorize black colleagues, fundraisers for a police officer who brutally beat a black motorist to death, and agents who articulate their political views by urinating on photographs of the president. And if the recent discrimination suit won by black agents is any measure, there’s plenty more grist for Powers’ mill. So how does a street-savvy, socially conscious young black man wind up working for the racially retrograde Bureau? Good question. Try bringing that one up at the Q&A. At 7 p.m. at Caravan Books, 6053 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill. FREE. (301) 567-8234. (William Jelani Cobb)