Maps have long exerted a special fascination—as beautiful works of art and as practical navigational tools. 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.
Michael Blanding is an author and journalist with more than fifteen years of experience writing long-form narrative and investigative journalism and has written for The Nation, The New Republic, Consumers Digest, and The Boston Globe Magazine.
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