The Map Thief

The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (8.58 hours)
Product Number: Z100100336
Released: Jul 20, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781494521684
Narrator/s: Sean Runnette
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc
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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.

Author(s): Michael Blanding
Original Publish Date: May 29, 2014


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The Map Thief
Product Number: BX00044715
Product Number:DD12235
Product Number:Z100100336

This title is part of (or scheduled to be part of) the following subscriptions:

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RBdigital Unlimited Canada Audio Subscription
RBdigital Audio Curriculum for Higher Education - Platinum Collection

All formats/editions

Author(s): Michael Blanding
Narrator(s): Sean Runnette
Product Number DD12235
Released: May 29, 2014
Business Term: Purchase
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc
ISBN: #9781494501686
Author(s): Michael Blanding
Product Number EB00380421
Released: Jun 05, 2014
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Avery
ISBN: #9780698156982

Professional reviews

"E. Forbes Smiley is an almost larger-than-life character. Fusty, genuinely captivated by old maps, and cavalier about his spending, he cynically steals maps from libraries and museums for the money. Narrator Sean Runnette wholly grasps SmileyÕs contradictions and quirks with a narration that is accessible and charming. For the complicated history of some of the maps, Runnette slightly slows his pace to ease listening digestion. HeÕs more conversational when recounting SmileyÕs financial overextension as he bounces checks and lives a grander lifestyle than he can afford. Perhaps most fitting of all is RunnetteÕs hint of (deserved) incredulousness at the lax security of the institutions that Smiley steals from. It really shouldnÕt be so easy to steal such rare and valuable things. A.B. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"

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