The Map Thief

Maps are both beautiful works of art and practical tools to navigate the world. They’re also highly collectible, and the map trade can be a cutthroat business. 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. In his book The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, Michael Blanding tells the history of this fascinating high-stakes criminal and the industry that consumed him.