Robbert K. Wittman: Priceless (book review)

I put off reading this book for a couple of months… what a mistake that was! I couldn’t put it down and it only took me a couple of sittings to finish it. It is that interesting.

Robert K. Wittman was the founder of the FBI Art Crime Unit, one that focuses on retrieving the world’s stolen treasures from paintings, to sculptures to other rare items that are sold in the black market. Mr. Wittman takes you along going undercover across 3 continents to retrieve items like Rembrandts, Vemeer and an original copy of The Bills of Rights, along with others that are priceless.

Every chapter in the book is dedicated to a different sting operation. Mr. Wittman not only shares with us the details of each operation, but also gives us a history lesson of the items, which i found very interesting getting to know the history of the various paintings. Given that Mr. Wittman is a collector himself, he really knows what he is talking about and also look for when going undercover.

I guarantee you will not be able to put it down. His story is so amazing and you can picture everything in your head as you are reading along! Not too shabby for a guy whose career was almost before it even started due to “The Accident”

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Publisher: Crown
Release Date: June 1, 2009
# of Pages: 336

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Jason Kersten: The Art of Making Money (book review)

What a thrilling story about the guy who was able to crack the 1996 one hundred dollar bill (the most secured bill in the US at the moment). Not only was Art Williams a master of this highly illegal craft, but his counterfit was almost unrecognizable to the untrained eye, even when comparing it to real bills. The “pen” used to detect fake bills was useless because Art found a way to bypass this method.

Sometimes I’m skeptical when reading book that are not written by the person the book is about, but Jason Kersten did a lot of research and actually knew the protagonist well. There are a lot of inputs throughtout the book from Art himself.

The book starts at the very beginning of his life and covers everything until his arrests. From growing up in the streets of Bridgeport to his introduction to the art of making money, a craft he learned from an older man and ultimately perfected himself.

At the time of this book’s release Art was still in jail for a second attempt at making counterfit money, and was set to be release in 2013.

I hope one day there is another release from Art Williams himself where it picks up where this book ended. Very well written book and will keep you on the edge.

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Publisher: Gotham
Release Date: June 11, 2009
# of Pages: 304