The One Cent Magenta

The One Cent Magenta Author James Barron
ISBN-10 9781616207175
Year 2017-03-07
Pages 224
Language en
Publisher Algonquin Books
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An inside look at the obsessive, secretive, and often bizarre world of high-profile stamp collecting, told through the journey of the world’s most sought-after stamp. When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $9.5 million, the largest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. Through the stories of the eccentric characters who have bought, owned, and sold the one-cent magenta in the years in between, James Barron delivers a fascinating tale of global history and immense wealth, and of the human desire to collect. One-cent magentas were provisional stamps, printed quickly in what was then British Guiana when a shipment of official stamps from London did not arrive. They were intended for periodicals, and most were thrown out with the newspapers. But one stamp survived. The singular one-cent magenta has had only nine owners since a twelve-year-old boy discovered it in 1873 as he sorted through papers in his uncle’s house. He soon sold it for what would be $17 today. (That’s been called the worst stamp deal in history.) Among later owners was a fabulously wealthy Frenchman who hid the stamp from almost everyone (even King George V of England couldn’t get a peek); a businessman who traveled with the stamp in a briefcase he handcuffed to his wrist; and John E. du Pont, an heir to the chemical fortune, who died while serving a thirty-year sentence for the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz. Recommended for fans of Nicholas A. Basbanes, Susan Orlean, and Simon Winchester, The One-Cent Magenta explores the intersection of obsessive pursuits and great affluence and asks why we want most what is most rare.

One Cent Magenta

One Cent Magenta Author James Barron
ISBN-10 9781925584073
Year 2017-05-01
Pages 256
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. In 2014, this tiny square of faded red paper known as the one-cent magenta sold at Sotheby’s for nearly $US9.5 million, the highest amount ever paid for a postage stamp at auction. Through the stories of the eccentric characters who have bought, owned and sold this stamp, The One-Cent Magenta weaves a fascinating tale of obsession to own a treasure that no one else can have. One-cent magentas were provisional stamps, printed in British Guiana when a shipment of official stamps from London failed to arrive. They were intended for periodicals, and most were thrown out. But one stamp survived. It has had only nine owners since a 12-year-old Scottish boy discovered it in 1873 (and sold it for what would be $17 today). Later owners included a fabulously wealthy Frenchman who hid the stamp from view – even King George V of England couldn’t get a peek – a businessman who travelled with the stamp in a briefcase he handcuffed to his wrist; and John E. du Pont, heir to the chemical fortune, who died while serving a thirty-year sentence for the murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz.

The One Cent Magenta

The One Cent Magenta Author James Barron
ISBN-10 9781925584073
Year 2017-05-01
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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When it was issued in 1856, it cost a penny. When it was sold at Sotheby’s in 2014, the tiny square of faded red paper known as the one-cent magenta cost nearly $US9.5 million, making it the world’s most valuable object by weight. Printed in what was then British Guiana, one-cent magentas were provisional stamps intended for local newspapers. Most were later thrown out, but one survived. Discovered by a young boy in 1873, the stamp has since been through the hands of nine fanatical owners including an Australian-born engineer, a convicted murderer, and a fabulously wealthy Frenchman who hid it from view (not even King George V of England could get a peek). The One-Cent Magenta weaves a fascinating tale of obsession to own the world’s most fragile treasure, and the extraordinary characters who have loved and lost it.

Piano

Piano Author James Barron
ISBN-10 1429900121
Year 2007-04-01
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher Macmillan
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An alluring exploration of the people and the legendary craftsmanship behind a single Steinway piano Like no other instrument, a grand piano melds engineering feats with the magical sounds of great music: the thunder of a full-throated bass, the bright, delicate trill of the upper treble. Alone among the big piano companies, Steinway still crafts all of its pianos largely by hand, imbuing each one with the promise and burden of its brand. In this captivating narrative, James Barron of The New York Times tells the story of one Steinway piano, from raw lumber to finished instrument. Barron follows that brand-new piano-known by its number, K0862-on its eleven-month journey through the Steinway factory, where time-honored manufacturing methods vie with modern-day industrial efficiency. He looks over the shoulders of men and women-some second- and third-generation employees, some recently arrived immigrants-who transform wood and steel into a concert grand. Together, they carry on the traditions begun more than 150 years ago by the immigrants who founded Steinway & Sons-a family that soared to prominence in the music world and, for a while, in New York City's political and economic life. Barron also explores the art and science of developing a piano's timbre and character before its first performance, when the essential question will be answered: Does K0862 live up to the Steinway legend? From start to finish, Piano will charm and enlighten music lovers.

Me Dog

Me   Dog Author Gene Weingarten
ISBN-10 9781442494145
Year 2014-09-16
Pages 48
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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This endearing friendship story about a boy and his dog from a Pulitzer Prize–winning writer gently explores a timeless question: who’s really in charge? Meet Sid. He’s an ordinary kid. He’s far from perfect. But to Murphy, Sid’s faithful dog, Sid is the whole world. Murphy thinks Sid is the absolute best—and that he’s in charge of everything. Sid loves Murphy right back, but he can’t help but wonder what Murphy would think if he realized the truth: Sid’s just a kid, and Murphy’s just a dog, and neither one can control the world. This deceptively simply picture book is the perfect start to a discussion about a subject seldom seen in children’s books—the nonthreatening feel of a world based on fact and reason, and not faith.

Every Stamp Tells a Story

Every Stamp Tells a Story Author Cheryl Ganz
ISBN-10 9781935623540
Year 2014-12-02
Pages 151
Language en
Publisher Smithsonian Institution
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Every stamp and piece of mail tells a story. In fact, each often tells multiple stories, ranging from concept to art design to production to usage, often with tales of politics, history, technology, biography, genealogy, economics, geography, disaster, and triumph. The lens of philately offers a fresh and engaging story of American history, culture, and identity, and it can also help deepen the understanding of world cultures. The William H. Gross Stamp Gallery, opened at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in September 2013, has many such stories to tell. Chief philately curator Cheryl R. Ganz guides readers through some of the gallery's nearly 20,000 objects that together illustrate the history of our nation's postal operations and postage stamps.

Mauritius

Mauritius Author Theresa Rebeck
ISBN-10 0573660190
Year 2008
Pages 79
Language en
Publisher Samuel French Incorporated Plays
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Typescript, dated Sept. 26, 2007. Used by The New York Public Library's Theatre on Film and Tape Archive on Nov. 16, 2007, when videotaping the Manhattan Theatre Club production at the Biltmore Theatre, New York, N.Y. The production opened on Oct. 4, 2007, and was directed by Doug Hughes.

The GH Kaestlin Collection of Imperial Russian and Zemstvo Stamps

The GH Kaestlin Collection of Imperial Russian and Zemstvo Stamps Author Thomas Lera
ISBN-10 9781935623342
Year 2013-10-30
Pages 314
Language en
Publisher Smithsonian Institution
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A quiet philatelist, George H. Kaestlin joined the original Rossika Society in 1935 along with the better known Theo B. Lavroff and K. Szymanowski. Whereas Lavroff contributed significantly to Russian philately as an author and researcher and Szymanowski was an avid collector, Kaestlin collected privately. Born in Moscow, circa 1893, Kaestlin arrived in England in 1939. After World War II, When the original Rossika dissolved, he did not join the newly reconstituted Rossica Society of the United States. He never wrote for any philatelic magazine, never joined the London-based British Society of Russian Philately, and never showed his material at any exhibition. Thus he managed to elude notice in the literature of the times and receded into obscurity. Kaestlin’s exceedingly remarkable contribution, however, is found in the quality and scope of his collection and in the preservation of the treasures he acquired (many from the legendary Fabergé collection). Kaestlin’s attention to detail and fastidious collecting habits are evident in the layout and handwriting in his albums. His collection, donated to the Smithsonian Institution in 1984 by his niece Vera Madeleine Kaestlin-Bock, includes more than 1,250 album pages on which he organized more than 14,000 Imperial Russian and zemstvo stamps. The quality of the stamps is outstanding. With the publication of this book, Kaestlin can finally take his place among the greats of Russian philately. The G.H. Kaestlin Collection of Imperial Russian and Zemstvo Stamps is one of the greatest museum collections outside of Russia.

How to Collect Invest in China Stamps

How to Collect   Invest in China Stamps Author Richard Tang
ISBN-10 9781365907524
Year 2017-04-22
Pages 270
Language en
Publisher Lulu.com
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Many years back, stamp collecting was an extra-curricular activity of school kids around the world. Modern technology was thought to have killed this hobby due to the decrease in the usage and demand of postage stamps. Out of surprise, this turned out to be untrue. Out of 60 million stamp collectors around the world, one third come from China. Wealthy Chinese are now beginning to buy back their heritage on a massive scale. Investors are laughing their way to the bank with significant gains on their China stamp portfolio. This 268-page book, fully illustrated with pictures, reveals everything you need to know about China stamps and how to build a solid collection for potential future liquidation.

More Songwriters on Songwriting

More Songwriters on Songwriting Author Paul Zollo
ISBN-10 9780306822445
Year 2016-11-08
Pages 672
Language en
Publisher Hachette UK
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The long-awaited sequel to Songwriters on Songwriting, often called "the songwriter's bible," More Songwriters on Songwriting goes to the heart of the creative process with in-depth interviews with many of the world's greatest songwriters. Covering every genre of popular music from folk, rock 'n' roll, Broadway, jazz, pop, and modern rock, this is a remarkable journey through some sixty years of popular songwriting: from Leiber & Stoller's genius rock 'n' roll collaborations and Richard Sherman's Disney songs to Kenny Gamble's Philly Sound; Norman Whitfield's Motown classics; Loretta Lynn's country standards; expansive folk music from Peter, Paul, and Mary; folk-rock from Stephen Stills; confessional gems from James Taylor; poetic excursions form Patti Smith; Beatles magic from Ringo Starr; expansive brilliance from Paul Simon; complex melodic greatness from Brian Wilson; the most untrustworthy narrator alive in Randy Newman; the dark rock theater of both Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie; the sophisticated breadth of Elvis Costello; the legendary jazz of Herbie Hancock; the soulful swagger of of Chrissie Hynde; the funny-poignant beauty of John Prine; the ancient wisdom fused with hip-hop and reggae of Matisyahu; and much more. In all of it is the collective wisdom of those who have written songs for decades, songs that have impacted our culture forever.

The Map Thief

The Map Thief Author Michael Blanding
ISBN-10 9780698156982
Year 2014-05-29
Pages 320
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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The story of an infamous crime, a revered map dealer with an unsavory secret, and the ruthless subculture that consumed him Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers—both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects. 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. The Map Thief delves into the untold history of this fascinating high-stakes criminal and the inside story of the industry that consumed him. Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all the key players in this stranger-than-fiction story, and shares the fascinating histories of maps that charted the New World, and how they went from being practical instruments to quirky heirlooms to highly coveted objects. Though pieces of the map theft story have been written before, Blanding is the first reporter to explore the story in full—and had the rare privilege of having access to Smiley himself after he’d gone silent in the wake of his crimes. Moreover, although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more—and offer intriguing clues to prove it. Now, through a series of exclusive interviews with Smiley and other key individuals, Blanding teases out an astonishing tale of destruction and redemption. The Map Thief interweaves Smiley’s escapades with the stories of the explorers and mapmakers he knew better than anyone. Tracking a series of thefts as brazen as the art heists in Provenance and a subculture as obsessive as the oenophiles in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, Blanding has pieced together an unforgettable story of high-stakes crime.

A History of Britain in Thirty six Postage Stamps

A History of Britain in Thirty six Postage Stamps Author Chris West
ISBN-10 9781250035530
Year 2013-10-22
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Picador
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Stamps tell a story-and Chris West's book is the unique, fascinating tale of Great Britain told through its stamps. Hailed by The Times of London as "a splendid reminder of the philatelic glories of the past," A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps tells the rich, layered, and breathtaking history of England through thirty-six of its fascinating, often beautiful, and sometimes eccentric postage stamps. West shows that stamps have always mirrored the events, attitudes, and styles of their time. Through them, one can glimpse the whole epic tale of an empire unfolding. From the famous Penny Black, printed soon after Queen Victoria's coronation, to the Victory! stamp of 1946, anticipating the struggle of postwar reconstruction-A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps is a hugely entertaining and idiosyncratic romp, told in Chris West's lively prose. On their own, stamps can be curiosities, even artistic marvels; in this book, stamps become a window into the larger sweep of history.

The Dylanologists

The Dylanologists Author David Kinney
ISBN-10 9781451626940
Year 2014-05-13
Pages 256
Language en
Publisher Simon and Schuster
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A joyous and poignant exploration of the meaning of fandom, the healing power of art, and the importance of embracing what moves you, “The Dylanologists is juicy…artfully told…and an often moving chronicle of the ecstasies and depravities of obsession” (New York Daily News). Bob Dylan is the most influential songwriter of our time, and, after a half century, he continues to be a touchstone, a fascination, and an enigma. From the very beginning, he attracted an intensely fanatical cult following, and in The Dylanologists, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Kinney ventures deep into this eccentric subculture to answer a question: What can Dylan’s grip on his most enthusiastic listeners tell us about his towering place in American culture? Kinney introduces us to a vibrant underground: diggers searching for unheard tapes and lost manuscripts, researchers obsessing over the facts of Dylan’s life and career, writers working to decode the unyieldingly mysterious songs, fans who meticulously record and dissect every concert. It’s an affectionate mania, but as far as Dylan is concerned, a mania nonetheless. Over the years, the intensely private and fiercely combative musician has been frightened, annoyed, and perplexed by fans who try to peel back his layers. He has made one thing—perhaps the only thing—crystal clear: He does not wish to be known. Told with tremendous insight, intelligence, and warmth, “entertaining and well-written…The Dylanologists is as much a book about obsession—about the ways our fascinations manifest themselves, about how we cope with what we love but don’t quite understand—as it is a book about a musician and his nutty fans” (The Wall Street Journal).

Into That Good Night

Into That Good Night Author Ron Rozelle
ISBN-10 9781466895225
Year 2015-12-08
Pages 181
Language en
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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When his father began to show signs of Alzheimer's disease, Rozelle watched the man's painful transformation into a dependent and ultimately foreign person. In this haunting memoir, Into That Good Night, Rozelle recreates and reclaims the past for his father, offering a son's gift that will echo for a long time to come.

The House of the Dead

The House of the Dead Author Daniel Beer
ISBN-10 9781846145384
Year 2016-07-07
Pages 400
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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THE TIMES and TLS BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2016 'An absolutely fascinating book, rich in fact and anecdote.' - David Aaronovitch 'A splendid example of academic scholarship for a public audience. Yet even though he is an impressively calm and sober narrator, the injustices and atrocities pile up on every page.' - Dominic Sandbrook 'A superb, colourful history of Siberian exile under the tsars' - The Times It was known as 'the vast prison without a roof'. From the beginning of the nineteenth century to the Russian Revolution, the tsarist regime exiled more than one million prisoners and their families beyond the Ural Mountains to Siberia. Daniel Beer's new book, The House of the Dead, brings to life both the brutal realities of an inhuman system and the tragic and inspiring fates of those who endured it. This is the vividly told history of common criminals and political radicals, the victims of serfdom and village politics, the wives and children who followed husbands and fathers, and of fugitives and bounty-hunters. Siberia served two masters: colonisation and punishment. In theory, exiles would discover the virtues of self-reliance, abstinence and hard work and, in so doing, they would develop Siberia's natural riches and bind it more firmly to Russia. In reality, the autocracy banished an army not of hardy colonists but of half-starving, desperate vagabonds. The tsars also looked on Siberia as creating the ultimate political quarantine from the contagions of revolution. Generations of rebels - republicans, nationalists and socialists - were condemned to oblivion thousands of kilometres from European Russia. Over the nineteenth century, however, these political exiles transformed Siberia's mines, prisons and remote settlements into an enormous laboratory of revolution. This masterly work of original research taps a mass of almost unknown primary evidence held in Russian and Siberian archives to tell the epic story both of Russia's struggle to govern its monstrous penal colony and Siberia's ultimate, decisive impact on the political forces of the modern world.