This is the story of a man who broke into the Columbia Rare Book and Manuscript Library several times and stole an amazing amount of very precious material. He was finally caught, and this book covers his story from a reconstruction of his theft, his apprehension in Europe, through his plea bargain and finally his sentencing. A great deal of the book is devoted to the sentencing phase, in part because Spiegelman's sentence was a deviation from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The judge received information from scholars and librarians as to the actual scholarly value of the material stolen, in addition to the pure monetary value, and as a result gave Speigelman a harsher sentence than he or his lawyers expected. This book is probably mostly of interest to people who are interested in some legal procedural matters, but I think it's probably accessible to anyone without a legal background. McDade is a lawyer & librarian, and he does a good job explaining the legal and library aspects.Ann
Book lover story...JulieK
The story of a guy who stole a large number of rare books and manuscripts from Columbia University, written by a librarian/lawyer. He went into way too much legal minutiae for my tastes (lines of argument at the trial, a whole chapter on the history of sentencing guidelines).Jessica
So I may be a tad biased as the author is one of my favorite law school classmates; however this is a wonderful read - factually accurate, painstaking legal research and when we hear the author's voice we get wonderful playful moments of artful storytelling.John Pinkney
An interesting story over burdened by the legalese and trial transcripts, which are far from compelling stuff to the layman, but must be utterly fascinating to lawyers, which McDade is. Still, the first half of the book (the thefts, the security, the Columbia University MRBL, the selling of stolen goods, etc.) is of interest to rare book lovers anywhere.Renny
I enjoyed parts of this book. There is a large chapter on the laws relating to book crimes and the changes to the justice system that Daniel Spiegleman's crimes induced. It is informative, a little boring, and had several grammatical errors.Lisa
I'm not a huge fan of non-fiction (nor all of the legal jargon) but it was really interesting to think about the repercussions Spiegelman's thefts will have on education and how that impacted the judge's decision. Boo Spiegelman!Mary Ellen
Interesting true story about a man who stole rare books from the library in order to sell them.