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The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century
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The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson
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Category: History
Edition Date: 04/24/2018
Time left: Unlimited
ISBN: 110198161X
Quantity: 21
Shipping by: By Buyer
Decription: “Absorbing . . . Though it's non-fiction, The Feather Thief contains many of the elements of a classic thriller.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air

“One of the most peculiar and memorable true-crime books ever.” —Christian Science Monitor

A rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, for readers of The Stranger in the WoodsThe Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.


On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness.

Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
About author: KIRK WALLACE JOHNSON is the author of The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century. His 2013 memoir, To Be a Friend is Fatal: the Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind, covers his work coordinating the reconstruction of Fallujah and his subsequent efforts on behalf of Iraqi refugees as the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies.

His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, among other publications, and his work has been profiled by This American Life, 60 Minutes, the Today Show, and The List, a feature-length documentary that premiered at the TriBeCa Film Festival.

As the founder of the List Project, Johnson’s advocacy led to the creation of a program for Iraqis that were imperiled as a consequence of working alongside U.S. diplomats and soldiers. His organization, which marshaled an army of pro bono attorneys to press their cases, helped nearly 2,500 Iraqi refugees reach America, where they are now citizens.

Prior to that, Johnson served in Iraq with the U.S. Agency for International Development in Baghdad and then Fallujah as the Agency’s first coordinator for reconstruction in the war-torn city.

He is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and the recipient of fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Wurlitzer Foundation. Prior to his work in Iraq, he conducted research on political Islamism as a Fulbright Scholar in Egypt. Johnson graduated from the University of Chicago in 2002.
Price: $16.99 (21 left)
 
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