Fakes and Forgeries: The True Crime Stories of History's Greatest Deceptions: the Criminals, the Scams, and the Victims

Fakes and Forgeries: The True Crime Stories of History's Greatest Deceptions: the Criminals, the Scams, and the Victims

by Brian Innes

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Was a diary found in 1991 truly written by Jack the Ripper? Was a young woman rescued from a Berlin canal actually Anastasia, daughter of Tsar Nicholas II? The answers to these questions and others are explored in this fascinating book. Innes (Body in Question) does a remarkable job of organizing a vast collection of true crime tales, some well known and others more obscure to the average reader. A brief introduction explains terminology differences between fakes and forgeries. Innes then divides his research into seven categories and provides details on how each case was solved. The case of the Jack the Ripper diary, for example, was solved through handwriting analysis and chemical testing. The case of the girl claiming to be Anastasia was solved through excavation and DNA testing. Innes has spared no time period, topic, or gender from prehistory to the present, from money to art to identity. He moves easily from topic to topic, with each story well researched and complete. He often discusses societal implications about the crime and the methods used to solve it. With over 200 pictures (both b&w and color), the book is lively and engaging and will satisfy anyone who enjoys solving a good true-crime story. Highly recommended for public libraries of all sizes.-Gena Moore, Central Piedmont Community Coll., Huntersville, NC Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-From forged documents to "funny money" to bogus identities and faux antiquities, Innes captivates readers with tales of intrigue and deception that span the centuries. He offers easy-to-comprehend explanations of scientific investigative techniques such as thermoluminescence, carbon dating, and chemical analysis of ink. The text is richly illustrated with photos, maps, art reproductions, and news clippings, and further supplemented by decorative sidebars (labeled "Forger's Files") with biographical sketches of the scam artists and the outcomes of their hoaxes. Famous incidents include the 1908 "faked prehistory" Piltdown man discovered in Britain, definitively declared a hoax in 1953; the multivolume "Hitler Diaries," forged by an East German dealer in Nazi relics who sold serialization rights to major publishers; and the activities of a respected 19th-century Shakespearean scholar who altered existing historical manuscripts by inserting details he made up himself and subsequently published as "discoveries." A discussion of the Vinland Map, currently valued at more than $20 million if authentic, represents a continuing mystery. Additional chapters address topics as diverse as Botticelli brush strokes, and the role of desktop publishing and laser printers in counterfeiting. The index facilitates searching for specific events or names, but the contents are equally well-suited to browsing or pleasure reading.-Lynn Nutwell, Fairfax City Regional Library, VA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Reader's Digest Association, Incorporated, The
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.02(w) x 9.96(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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