Columbia-Smith Book Club: The Map Thief


The Columbia-Smith Book Club met on April 10 at the home of Carol Wirtschafter '59 to discuss The Map Thief by Michael Blanding. Eight guests, including 4 Smithies (Carol, Gail Conway '48, Gaya Deak '78 and Amy Schancupp '79) attended. 

The Map Thief recounts the story of respected map dealer Forbes Smiley (Hampshire '78) who turned to stealing rare maps and selling them when his financial situation worsened. The book also explains how the historical and political aspects of maps, as well as their aesthetic beauty, attract the interest of collectors. 

The evening ended with a mini map show - guests were invited to bring a favorite map, and spend a few minutes discussing why it was important to them. The discussion made us see maps, and the places we had been, in a new way.