The Art of the Steal

( 2 )

Overview

The definitive book on the price-fixing scandal that roiled the art world, from the reporter who Dominick Dunne says "knows more about the ins and outs of this story than anyone else" (Vanity Fair).

The Art of the Steal is the explosive inside story-the only book to tell the whole truth and dish the dirt-of one of the most fascinating big-business trials of the new ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (1) from $45.00   
  • Used (26) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(136)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

The definitive book on the price-fixing scandal that roiled the art world, from the reporter who Dominick Dunne says "knows more about the ins and outs of this story than anyone else" (Vanity Fair).

The Art of the Steal is the explosive inside story-the only book to tell the whole truth and dish the dirt-of one of the most fascinating big-business trials of the new century-the price-fixing scandal that rocked the auction world and put one of the richest men in America behind bars.

Brilliantly written and reported, it tells the story of larger-than-life figures-the billionaire tycoon Alfred Taubman; the most powerful woman in the art world, Diana "DeDe" Brooks; and the wily British executive Christopher Davidge-who quaffed champagne and dined on caviar while conspiring to cheat clients out of millions of dollars. The book also offers an unprecedented look inside this secretive, gold-plated industry, describing just how Sotheby's and Christie's grew from clubby, aristocratic businesses into slick, international corporations and showing how the groundwork for the most recent illegal activities was laid decades before the perpetrators were caught by federal prosecutors.

Christopher Mason is the only reporter who has persuaded all the key figures (and hundreds more) to spill the beans. He has followed the trail of this story wherever it has led-from galleries and boardrooms in London, Paris, and New York to parties in Palm Beach and courtrooms in lower Manhattan.

Evoking the best-known investigative narratives like Barbarians at the Gate and Den of Thieves, the hidden lives of the very rich described in Philistines at the Hedgerow, and the crime-and-high-society reporting of Dominick Dunne, The Art of the Steal is destined to become the hottest-and most entertaining-gossip-starter of the season.

Author Biography: Christopher Mason is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and New York magazine, and has been writing for more than a dozen years on the worlds of art, society, fashion, and design.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Veteran art writer Mason does a good job separating the bad guys from the slightly less bad guys in his lively, anecdote-packed saga about how the world's two leading auction houses, Sotheby's and Christie's, conspired to fix prices on everything from famous paintings to antique furniture. Alfred Taubman, the shopping-mall king who bought Sotheby's in 1983 to keep it from falling into the hands of a couple of carpet salesmen, became the only principal in the case to actually do jail time apparently due to what some courtroom observers labeled "the worst defense money can buy." It didn't help that Diana "DeDe" Brooks, who started her career as an unpaid intern and whose workaholic habits persuaded Taubman to make her Sotheby's CEO, became one of the government's chief witnesses against Taubman. On the Christie's side, the lineup features a number of snobbish Brits, including Christie's CEO, Christopher Davidge, who seems to have sold everyone else down the river. It would have made for smoother reading if Mason (or his editor) had done some pruning: how many times do we need to be told that Brooks is six feet tall or that Taubman's wife, Judy, is a glamorous former beauty queen? But in the end, it's the story that carries the day an amazing and depressing chronicle of greed in the name of culture that should (but probably won't) keep art buyers from ever walking into an auction house again. Agent, Todd Shuster at Zachary Shuster Harmsworth. (May 11) Forecast: Blurbs from Dominick Dunne and Amanda Foresman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire, will help reach those who read Vanity Fair and other upscale magazines. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A damning story of dirty dealing in the art world. In the early 1980s, the auction house Sotheby's was in trouble, with a faltering economy and its chairman's profligacy threatening to bring the venerable institution to its knees. Enter shopping-mall magnate Alfred Taubman, who appreciated the gloss Sotheby's would add to his resume and the swell parties he would be able to attend. It didn't take long for Taubman to realize that business could be conducted more profitably if certain niceties were observed-namely, agreeing with fellow auctioneer Christie's upon buyer's premiums and commission rates "mutually beneficial to both firms." There follows, in Mason's fair reporting, a tale of "divvying up big estates on a one-for-me, one-for-you basis," attempting to ensure that all lots at auction commanded the highest possible price. British law and American law clashed over what exactly constituted collusion, but a Christie's executive squealed, quailing at the prospect of besmirching his name, let alone jail time. The whole rotten edifice crumbled, as Mason intricately details. Suddenly, what was thought to be the ultimate in fair bidding became a joke, revealing "a deceitful, secretive criminal scheme whose object and purpose was illegal profit." (Though fabulously rich clients wanting to "deaccession a few major pieces" may not prompt excessive amounts of reader sympathy.) The defendants didn't even demonstrate a measure of contrition: "Blinded by ambition, you substituted shame for fame," the judge lectured Sotheby's chief Diana Brooks, who in his view traded her title of CEO "to be branded a thief and common criminal." Taubman skipped with minor punishment, and Mason baldly suggests thatconnections served him both on the way up and on the way down. Journalist Mason calls into question exactly what drives the art market at so breathtakingly profitable a pace. Agent: Todd Shuster/Zachary Shuster Harmsworth
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399150937
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/6/2004
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)