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In the predawn hours of a gloomy February day in 1994, two thieves entered the National Gallery in Oslo and made off with one of the world's most famous paintings, Edvard Munch's Scream. It was a brazen crime committed while the whole world was watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Baffled and humiliated, the Norwegian police turned to the one man they believed could help: a half English, half American undercover cop named Charley Hill, the world's greatest art detective.The Rescue Artist is a rollicking narrative that carries readers deep inside the art underworld -- and introduces them to a large and colorful cast of titled aristocrats, intrepid investigators, and thick-necked thugs. But most compelling of all is Charley Hill himself, a complicated mix of brilliance, foolhardiness, and charm whose hunt for a purloined treasure would either cap an illustrious career or be the fiasco that would haunt him forever.
0n May 24, 1869, a one-armed Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine mountain men embarked on the last great quest in the American West. No one had ever explored the fabled Grand Canyon; to adventurers of that era it was a region almost as mysterious as Atlantis -- and as perilous.
The ten men set out down the mighty Colorado River in wooden rowboats. Six survived. Drawing on rarely examined diaries and journals, Down the Great Unknown is the first book to tell the full, true story.
As riveting as a World War II thriller, The Forger's Spell is the true story of three men and an extraordinary deception: the revered artist Johannes Vermeer; the small-time Dutch painter who dared to impersonate him years later; and the con man's mark, Hermann Goering, the fanatical art collector and one of Nazi Germany's most reviled leaders.
In the golden age of "talk therapy," the 1950s and 1960s, psychotherapists saw no limit to what they could do. Believing they had already explained the origins of war, homosexuality, anti-Semitism, and a host of neurotic ailments, they set out to conquer one of mankind's oldest and fiercest foes, mental illness. In Madness on the Couch, veteran science writer Edward Dolnick tells the tragic story of that confrontation. It is a vivid, compelling tale that is told here for the first time. Dolnick focuses on three battles in an epic war: against schizophrenia, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Schizophrenia, the most dreaded mental illness, strikes its young victims without warning and torments them with hallucinations and mocking voices. Autism claims its victims even younger, at age one or two, and locks them away, cut off from the rest of us by invisible walls. Obsessive-compulsive disorder strikes at any age and entraps its hapless victims in endless rituals. Inspired by their hero, Freud, but bolder even than he, psychoanalysts set out to vanquish those enemies. Armed with only words and the best of intentions, they achieved the worst of outcomes. The symptoms of disease were symbols, these therapists believed, and diseases could be interpreted, like dreams. The ranting of a schizophrenic on a street corner, the retreat of an autistic child from human contact, the endless hand-washing of an obsessive-compulsive were not simply acts but messages. And the message psychoanalysts decoded and delivered to countless families was that parents themselves -- through their subtle hostility -- had driven their children mad. That verdict was not overturned for more than a generation. Clear, dramatic, and authoritative, Madness on the Couch uses the voices of therapists as well as those of patients and their loved ones to describe the controversial methods used to treat the mentally ill, and their heartbreaking consequences. We see the leading lights of psychotherapy at work, including tiny, grandmotherly Frieda Fromm-Reichmann; gawky Gregory Bateson, either a genius or a charlatan, depending on whom one asked; and birdlike R. D. Laing, a slender figure with dark, deep-set eyes and the charisma of a rock star. We meet, too, scientists and family members who fought the reigning dogma of the day. Bernard Rimland, for example, set out to refute the claim that autism was caused by "refrigerator" parents whose coldness had turned their children into zombies. Rimland's only "credential" in his battle with the experts was the fact that his son was autistic. A gripping tale of hubris, arrogant pride, and terrible heartbreak, Madness on the Couch combines the immediacy of superb joumalism with the depth of scrupulous history. It shows us convincingly that in attempting to cure mental illness through talk therapy, psychoanalysis did infinitely more harm than good.
On 24 May 1869, a ragtag band of ten mountain men voyaged down the last unexplored area in the American Southwest. To adventurers of the era the immense Grand Canyon was almost as mysterious as Atlantis – and just as perilous. John Wesley Powell, an eccentric yet highly gifted veteran of the Civil War, drove the expedition with supreme self-confidence and incurable optimism, often clashing with the independent-minded misfits he had hired. Edward Dolnick captures the excitement and fear of the journey in a thrilling narrative that encompasses a cast of memorable heroes and one of the great feats of endurance of all time.
'Six tired, half-starved adventurers who had started the trip as rowdy, hollering mountain men came back from an ill-equipped expedition that had taken them ninety-nine days of whitewater terror, fire, feuding, thirst, hunger – which had cost them the lives of three of their companions. Dolnick keeps his narrative flowing like a strong current, pioneering in prose with much of one-armed Powell's own self-confidence.'
A riveting portrait of the Gold Rush, by the award-winning author of Down the Great Unknown and The Forger's Spell. In the spring of 1848, rumors began to spread that gold had been discovered in a remote spot in the Sacramento Valley. A year later, newspaper headlines declared Gold Fever as hundreds of thousands of men and women borrowed money, quit their jobs, and allowed themselves- for the first time ever-to imagine a future of ease and splendor. In THE RUSH, Edward Dolnick brilliantly recounts their treacherous westward journeys by wagon and on foot, and takes us to the frenzied gold fields and the rowdy cities that sprang from nothing to jam-packed chaos. With an enthralling cast of characters and scenes of unimaginable wealth and desperate ruin, THE RUSH is a fascinating-and rollicking-account of the greatest treasure hunt the world has ever seen.
The incredible story of the theft of a great painting and the brilliant detective who gets it back. On a frozen February morning in 1994, two men in a stolen car skidded to a halt in front of Norway?s national art museum. They raced across the snow and grabbed the ladder they had stashed away the night before. Two minutes later, they roared off. Wedged behind the driver sat one of the most valuable paintings in the world: Edvard Munch?s The Scream. The thieves had made sure the world was watching: the Winter Olympics, in Lillehammer, began that same morning. Baffled and humiliated, the Norwegian police called on the world?s greatest art detective, Charley Hill, a half-English, half-American undercover policeman. Edward Dolnick?s riveting tale takes us inside the art underworld, from ponytailed aristocrat Lord Bath, to 300-pound fence David Duddin. We meet Munch, too, a haunted misfit who spends nights feverishly trying to paint the visions in his head. Scotland Yard?s Charley Hill, an ex-soldier, a would-be priest, and a complicated mix of brilliance, foolhardiness and charm, is the book?s most compelling character. The hunt for The Scream will either cap his career or end in a fiasco that will dog him forever.
By 1869, the map of the United States had long since been filled in. Only one mystery remained; an immense area of the south-west, larger than any state in the union and any country in Europe, remained unexplored.;On May 24 1869 a Civil War veteran named John Wesley Powell and a ragtag band of nine men set out down the river to resolve the mystery. Three months later, defying premature reports of their deaths, six of the men emerged to tell the tale. Their expedition was the last epic adventure on the American continent. They were the first white men to explore the Grand Canyon, the first of any race to brave the Colorado's ferocious and deadly rapids, and the first to map and measure the area, the ultimate American landscape. Powell instantly became a national hero and a star of the lecture circuit, enthralling audiences with vividly painted stories of a hostile and alien environment.;This was wild adventure, but it was also a journey with a practical purpose. Powell furthered the cause of modern science, seeing the Grand Canyon as a geological textbook which supported Darwin's new theories about the unthinkably ancient nature of the earth. After his death Powell lapsed into obscurity. Edward Dolnick aims to bring this great character to life for a modern audience, using previously untapped diaries, journals and letters which tell Powell's story in vivid detail.
Why cracking the code of human conception took centuries of wild theories, misogynist blunders, and ludicrous mistakes Throughout most of human history, babies were surprises. People knew the basics: men and women had sex, and sometimes babies followed. But beyond that the origins of life were a colossal mystery. The Seeds of Life is the remarkable and rollicking story of how a series of blundering geniuses and brilliant amateurs struggled for two centuries to discover where, exactly, babies come from. Taking a page from investigative thrillers, acclaimed science writer Edward Dolnick looks to these early scientists as if they were detectives hot on the trail of a bedeviling and urgent mystery. These strange searchers included an Italian surgeon using shark teeth to prove that female reproductive organs were not 'failed' male genitalia, and a Catholic priest who designed ingenious miniature pants to prove that frogs required semen to fertilize their eggs. A witty and rousing history of science, The Seeds of Life presents our greatest scientists struggling-against their perceptions, their religious beliefs, and their deep-seated prejudices-to uncover how and where we come from.
In a world of chaos and disease, one group of driven, idiosyncratic geniuses envisioned a universe that ran like clockwork. They were the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.
At the end of the seventeenth century, sickness was divine punishment, astronomy and astrology were indistinguishable, and the world's most brilliant, ambitious, and curious scientists were tormented by contradiction. They believed in angels, devils, and alchemy yet also believed that the universe followed precise mathematical laws that were as intricate and perfectly regulated as the mechanisms of a great clock.
The Clockwork Universe captures these monolithic thinkers as they wrestled with nature's most sweeping mysteries. Award-winning writer Edward Dolnick illuminates the fascinating personalities of Newton, Leibniz, Kepler, and others, and vividly animates their momentous struggle during an era when little was known and everything was new--battles of will, faith, and intellect that would change the course of history itself.
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