Thieves of Book Row


During the 1920’s, desperate and out of work due to the Great Depression, some people were willing to try anything to make a buck. That includes orchestrating a heist to lift a collection of rare books from a public library. 

This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with University of Illinois Associate Professor Travis McDade about his new book “Thieves of Book Row.”  He’ll tell us about Manhattan’s “Book Row,” a theft ring comprised of some of the most notorious literary criminals in US history, the detectives who worked their case and about how much money they were actually making off the texts.

We’ll also talk with him about rare book collecting today and if books are as valuable as they were in the early 1920’s. We’ll also learn more about how librarians protect rare books and prevent these kinds of thefts.

Do you collect books? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus!