Read Stolen World: A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skulduggery by Jennie Erin Smith Free Online
Book Title: Stolen World: A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skulduggery|
Date of issue: January 4th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780307381477
The author of the book: Jennie Erin Smith
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 469 KB
Read full description of the books Stolen World: A Tale of Reptiles, Smugglers, and Skulduggery:Tortoises disappear from a Madagascar reserve and reappear in the Bronx Zoo. A dead iguana floats in a jar, awaiting its unveiling in a Florida court. A viper causes mayhem from Ethiopia to Virginia. In Stolen World, Jennie Erin Smith takes the reader on an unforgettable journey, a dark adventure over five decades and six continents.
In 1965, Hank Molt, a young cheese salesman from Philadelphia, reinvented himself as a “specialist dealer in rare fauna,” traveling the world to collect exquisite reptiles for zoos and museums. By the end of the decade that followed, new endangered species laws had turned Molt into a convicted smuggler, and an unrepentant one, who went on to provide many of the same rare reptiles to many of the same institutions, covertly.
But Molt soon found a rival in Tommy Crutchfield, a Florida carpet salesman with every intention of usurping Molt as the most accomplished reptile smuggler in the country. Like Molt, Crutchfield had modeled himself after an earlier generation of natural-history collectors celebrated for their service to science, an ideal that, for Molt and Crutchfield, eclipsed the realities of the new wildlife-protection laws. Zoo curators, caught between a desire for rare animals and the conservation-minded focus of their institutions, became the smugglers’ antagonists in court but also their best customers, sometimes simultaneously.
Crutchfield forged ties with a criminally inclined Malaysian wildlife trader and emerged a millionaire, beloved by some of the finest zoos in the world. Molt, following a string of inventive but disastrous smuggling schemes in New Guinea, was reduced to hanging around Crutchfield’s Florida compound, plotting Crutchfield’s demise. The fallout from their feud would result in a major federal investigation with tentacles in Germany, Madagascar, Holland, and Malaysia. And yet even after prison, personal ruin, and the depredations of age, Molt and Crutchfield never stopped scheming, never stopped longing for the snake or lizard that would earn each his rightful place in a world that had forgotten them—or rather, had never recognized them to begin with.
Read information about the authorI am a reporter, writer and reviewer specializing in science and natural history, with a longtime interest in zoos, museums, animals and conservation. For several years I worked as an environmental reporter in Florida, where I developed many of the contacts needed to write Stolen World; currently I live in Europe, where I write for the Times Literary Supplement and other publications. I am always happy to talk about my work, so please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions, or feedback, or would like to schedule a Skype video chat for a book club or class.
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