The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

By Michael Blanding

The tale of an notorious crime, a respected map broker with an unsavory mystery, and the ruthless culture that fed on him
Maps have lengthy exerted a unique fascination on viewers—both as attractive artworks and as useful instruments to navigate the area. yet to those that acquire them, the map alternate could be a cutthroat enterprise, inhabited via quirky and infrequently disreputable characters looking for a finite variety of super infrequent objects.
Once thought of a good antiquarian map broker, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief —until he was once eventually arrested slipping maps out of books within the Yale collage library. The Map Thief delves into the untold historical past of this interesting high-stakes felony and the interior tale of the that ate up him.
Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all of the key avid gamers during this stranger-than-fiction tale, and stocks the interesting histories of maps that charted the recent international, and the way they went from being functional tools to quirky heirlooms to hugely coveted items. notwithstanding items of the map robbery tale were written ahead of, Blanding is the 1st reporter to discover the tale in full—and had the infrequent privilege of getting entry to Smiley himself after he’d long gone silent within the wake of his crimes. furthermore, even supposing Smiley swears he has admitted to the entire maps he stole, libraries declare he stole thousands more—and provide fascinating clues to end up it. Now, via a chain of specific interviews with Smiley and different key members, Blanding teases out an incredible story of destruction and redemption.
The Map Thief interweaves Smiley’s escapades with the tales of the explorers and mapmakers he knew greater than somebody. monitoring a chain of thefts as brazen because the paintings heists in Provenance and a way of life as obsessive because the oenophiles in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Blanding has pieced jointly an unforgettable tale of high-stakes crime.

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