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The map thief : the gripping story of an esteemed rare-map dealer who made millions stealing priceless maps / Michael Blanding.

By: Blanding, Michael [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookDescription: xvi, 320 pages : illustrations, maps ; 20 cm.ISBN: 1592409407; 9781592409402.Subject(s): Smiley, E. Forbes | Map dealers -- United States | Map industry and trade -- United States | Map thefts -- United States | Book thefts -- United States
Contents:
Selected mapmakers, 1470-1860 -- The explorer and the thief -- Small hope -- A new world -- Who knows the most wins -- Catalog number one -- Playing hardball -- Upward departure -- The battle of Sebec -- Missing maps, missing cards -- Caught! -- The plea -- Map quest -- Terra incognita -- Maps Smiley admitted stealing -- Additional maps libraries reported missing.
Summary: "The story of an infamous crime, a revered map dealer with an unsavory secret, and the ruthless subculture that consumed him Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers-both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects. Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief -until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. The Map Thief delves into the untold history of this fascinating high-stakes criminal and the inside story of the industry that consumed him. Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all the key players in this stranger-than-fiction story, and shares the fascinating histories of maps that charted the New World, and how they went from being practical instruments to quirky heirlooms to highly coveted objects. Though pieces of the map theft story have been written before, Blanding is the first reporter to explore the story in full-and had the rare privilege of having access to Smiley himself after he'd gone silent in the wake of his crimes. Moreover, although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more-and offer intriguing clues to prove it. Now, through a series of exclusive interviews with Smiley and other key individuals, Blanding teases out an astonishing tale of destruction and redemption. The Map Thief interweaves Smiley's escapades with the stories of the explorers and mapmakers he knew better than anyone. Tracking a series of thefts as brazen as the art heists in Provenance and a subculture as obsessive as the oenophiles in The Billionaire's Vinegar, Blanding has pieced together an unforgettable story of high-stakes crime. "--
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Non Fiction Hāwera LibraryPlus
Non Fiction
Non Fiction 92 SMIL (Browse shelf) Available i2144515
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Once considered a respectable rare-map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley made millions and was highly esteemed for his knowledge; until he was arrested for slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. Though pieces of the story have been told before, Blanding is the first reporter to gain access to Smiley himself after he'd gone silent. Although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more, and offer evidence to prove it. Using interviews, Blanding teases out the tale of deception.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Selected mapmakers, 1470-1860 -- The explorer and the thief -- Small hope -- A new world -- Who knows the most wins -- Catalog number one -- Playing hardball -- Upward departure -- The battle of Sebec -- Missing maps, missing cards -- Caught! -- The plea -- Map quest -- Terra incognita -- Maps Smiley admitted stealing -- Additional maps libraries reported missing.

"The story of an infamous crime, a revered map dealer with an unsavory secret, and the ruthless subculture that consumed him Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers-both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects. Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief -until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. The Map Thief delves into the untold history of this fascinating high-stakes criminal and the inside story of the industry that consumed him. Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all the key players in this stranger-than-fiction story, and shares the fascinating histories of maps that charted the New World, and how they went from being practical instruments to quirky heirlooms to highly coveted objects. Though pieces of the map theft story have been written before, Blanding is the first reporter to explore the story in full-and had the rare privilege of having access to Smiley himself after he'd gone silent in the wake of his crimes. Moreover, although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more-and offer intriguing clues to prove it. Now, through a series of exclusive interviews with Smiley and other key individuals, Blanding teases out an astonishing tale of destruction and redemption. The Map Thief interweaves Smiley's escapades with the stories of the explorers and mapmakers he knew better than anyone. Tracking a series of thefts as brazen as the art heists in Provenance and a subculture as obsessive as the oenophiles in The Billionaire's Vinegar, Blanding has pieced together an unforgettable story of high-stakes crime. "--

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • List of Characters (p. xi)
  • Selected Mapmakers, 1470-1860 (p. xvii)
  • Introduction (p. 3)
  • Chapter 1 The Explorer and the Thief (p. 9)
  • Chapter 2 Small Hope (p. 27)
  • Chapter 3 A New World (p. 41)
  • Chapter 4 Who Knows the Most Wins (p. 59)
  • Chapter 5 Catalog Number One (p. 75)
  • Chapter 6 Playing Hardball (p. 91)
  • Chapter 7 Upward Departure (p. 107)
  • Chapter 8 The Battle of Sebec (p. 119)
  • Chapter 9 Missing Maps, Missing Cards (p. 135)
  • Chapter 10 Caught! (p. 153)
  • Chapter 11 The Plea (p. 167)
  • Chapter 12 Map Quest (p. 185)
  • Chapter 13 Terra Incognita (p. 201)
  • Epilogue (p. 221)
  • Appendix A Maps Smiley Admitted Stealing (p. 223)
  • Appendix B Additional Maps Libraries Reported Missing (p. 233)
  • Acknowledgments (p. 249)
  • Bibliography (p. 251)
  • Notes (p. 257)
  • Index (p. 292)

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