June 4, 2009
Join CFI and the Secular Humanist Society of New York to meet journalist and author Nina Burleigh, who wrote the recent book Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed, & Forgery in the Holy Land. The book tells the story of the unraveling of a Bible relic forgery scheme in Israel, and gives a glimpse into the intriguing world of biblical archaeology and relic collectors. Burleigh will talk about her book and the con-men, archaeologists, secular scholars, religious believers, hype-masters, billionaire collectors, and eccentrics she encountered while researching it.
Burleigh’s previous books include Mirage: Napoleon’s Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt (Harper Collins, 2007), which chronicles the first large-scale interaction between Western civilians and Islam in the modern era; The Stranger and the Statesman (Morrow, 2003), about the mysterious life of 18th Century scientist James Smithson and his bequest to the nation; and A Very Private Woman: The Life and Unsolved Murder of Mary Meyer (Bantam 1998), the true story of the unsolved murder of an American aristocrat in 1964, set in the bizarre and exclusive world of the wives of the Cold Warriors in Washington, D.C.
Burleigh was born and educated in the Midwest, and began in journalism covering the Illinois Statehouse for the Associated Press. She has written for the New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time, People, The Washington Post and numerous national magazines, and is an occasional blogger on The Huffington Post. She has a Master’s degree in English literature from the University of Chicago, a Master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield, and a B.A. in English from MacMurray College.
Admission is free and open to the public.