Priceless and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.00
  • Save: $2.88 (19%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it tomorrow, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: SHIPS DIRECTLY FROM AMAZON! Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping and PRIME. Tracking is included. Easy return policy. As pictured. Light cover wear. Book may have minimal markings. May be ex-library. Carefully packed and promptly shipped.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures Paperback


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.12
$6.99 $2.33
Audio CD
"Please retry"
$121.43 $121.42
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

Frequently Bought Together

Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures + Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art + The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft
Price for all three: $40.29

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 5.8.2011 edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307461483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307461483
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,973 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Former FBI agent Wittman, who created the agency's Art Crime Team and pursued a lifelong interest in antiques and collectibles, goes undercover to hobnob with infamous art thieves. The ineffective, the stupid, the clever, and the dangerous; Wittman befriends them all, in order to betray them, a fact that causes him a certain amount of angst. Among other challenges are bumbling agency bureaucrats and government turf wars when attempting to recover stolen art abroad. A fatal car accident that Wittman was involved in early in his career shaped his perspective: "I understood that because someone made a mistake in judgment, it didn't make him evil. My newfound ability to see both sides of a situation-to think and feel like the accused-was invaluable." Wittman keeps the narrative interesting, and reveals himself as something of a renegade: "Under the FBI's strict undercover rules, you're only supposed to work one case at a time. I never followed that rule." Keep the lies to a minimum, he advises, and avoid working in your home town.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Almost every case he recounts has enough intrigue and suspense for a Hollywood screenplay.”--The Washington Post

"Genius... Riveting.... Should be a TV series."--Los Angeles Times

"A rollicking memoir... investigative details dazzle... PRICELESS can read at times, not unpleasantly, as if an art history textbook got mixed up at the printer with a screenplay for THE WIRE."--The New York Times

"Riveting... superbly crafted... absolutely, hands down the best book ever written on art crime."--Associated Press

“I can’t think of a better title for a book than this one, PRICELESS.  Because this non-fiction story is priceless, a spellbinding narrative of an FBI agent’s journey into the crazy murk of what is perhaps the most fascinating criminal activity of all, high-stakes art theft into the millions upon millions.”--Buzz Bissinger, New York Times bestselling author of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS and coauthor of SHOOTING STARS

"Entertaining...crime buffs will receive a painless education while they enjoy a lively account of art thieves and the man who pursued them."--Kirkus Reviews
 
"Wittman's memoir, PRICELESS, is a fast-paced, gripping narrative of stolen national treasures and those who traffic in them. An undercover lawman armed with wit and adrenalin, Wittman exposes the darkest corners of the art world and brings to justice the dangerous criminals who lurk there."--Laney Salisbury, co-author of PROVENANCE: HOW A CON  MAN AND A FORGER REWROTE THE HISTORY OF MODERN ART
 
"In one riveting sequence after another, Robert Wittman reveals the art world’s underbelly as it has never been seen, through the eyes of an undercover agent whose investigative acumen is matched only by his art-history chops. A true page-turner."--Benjamin Wallace, New York Times bestseller author of THE BILLIONAIRE’S VINEGAR
 
“With suspense, intrigue, and candor, FBI agent Robert Wittman takes us inside the secret world of stolen art as he goes undercover to solve some of the most notorious art thefts of our time.”—Ronald Kessler, New York Times bestselling author of THE BUREAU and IN THE PRESIDENT’S SECRET SERVICE
 
“PRICELESS is a gem of a story, part James Bond, part art history.  If Robert Wittman didn’t already exist, Dan Brown would have made him up.”--George Anastasia, New York Times bestselling author BLOOD AND HONOR, THE LAST GANGSTER and THE SUMMER WIND
 
"More realistic than THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, more entertaining than CATCH ME IF YOU CAN.  It's hard to believe one undercover FBI Agent rescued so many cultural and national treasures......but it's all true.”--Jack Garcia, former FBI undercover agent and New York Times bestselling author of MAKING JACK FALCONE
 
PRICELESS is a rare and riveting journey into the little-understood world of art crime.  A brilliant professional who sees both the big picture and all of its nuances, Wittman fascinates with tales of his daring adventures as an FBI undercover agent.  Demonstrating candor, humor, integrity, and sensitivity, Wittman strips away the myths, bares the truth, and tells it like it is.  He and PRICELESS are both precisely that--priceless!”--Andrea Kane, New York Times bestselling author of DRAWN IN BLOOD


From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Very much a page-turner.
C. W. Caspari Jr.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about this type of crime, but also to anyone who just wants a great book to read.
Customer
Mr. Wittman's account of his career as an undercover FBI agent trying to recover stolen artworks is fascinating, exciting and oh so interesting.
Richard A. Mitchell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 62 people found the following review helpful By C. W. Caspari Jr. on June 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very much a page-turner. Wittman's got a lot of great stories to tell about why we should appreciate art, how some government agencies have a warped sense of priorities and of course the fascinating ways in which some of the most infamous property crimes in history have played out and his role in them.

There are suave characters, misfit gangsters and plot twists that can make you laugh or cry (depending on how much of an appreciation of art you may have - and if you don't have much of one, you will by the time you finish this book). Some of the "gangster talk" is right out of Hollywood; you wouldn't believe it if dialogue wasn't culled from bugged meet-ups and hidden video. But it's all real! And its told in a style that at times borders on gumshoe noir, which keeps the action lively.

Highly recommended for a fun summer read; I think anyone would enjoy this international thriller and might even learn something along the way.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
41 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Sam Spade on June 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Priceless has just about everything you'd want in a book, with appeal to all sorts of readers. In light of the recent art heist in Paris, this is timely and fascinating. Wittman's exploits do indeed read like a crime thriller, keeping the pages turning in a breathless fashion. I'll definitely buy more copies as gifts!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Karie Hoskins VINE VOICE on July 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The most interesting elements of "Priceless" were the facts regarding art and art theft and the awe and respect with which the author describes the pieces he views and recovers.

"Americans, in particular, are said to be uncultured when it comes to high art, more likely to go to a ballpark than a museum. But as I tell my foreign colleagues, the statistics belie that stereotype. Americans visit museums on a scale eclipsing sports. In 2007, more people visited the Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington (24.2 million) than attended a game played by the Nations Basketball Association (21.8 million), the National Hockey League (21.2 million), or the National Football League (17 million)."

I was shocked by that fact. I was also surprised by the different priority level that the US places on art theft, compared to other countries. Despite the record prices being paid for historical and artistic pieces now, the penalties for their theft weren't comparable. The trails that Wittman goes through trying to deal with and change the investigation procedures in these cases was very interesting.

But the points at which I was most interested in this story, in the memoirs of this FBI agent were when he described his reactions to the stolen treasures he tried to restore to their place in the world.

"This was my first antiquity case, but as I would learn, looters are especially insidious art thieves. They not only invade the sanctuaries of our ancestors, plundering burial grounds and lost cities in a reckless dash for buried treasure, they also destroy our ability to learn about our past in ways other art thieves do not. When a painting is stolen from a museum, we usually know its provenance. We know where it came from, who painted it, when and perhaps even why.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover
If you are a connoisseur of crime books that range from criminal psychology to the Mafia to serial killers and beyond... and the thought of reading a book that revolves around some of the world's great works of art... including Matisse... Monet... Rembrandt... Picasso... et al... turns you off... or just plain scares you... hold on a minute! I have a large library of the aforementioned category of crime books and I was extremely apprehensive about buying this book for those very same "artsy" aversions. In retrospect... I'm thrilled that I took the chance and bought this book anyway. What the author, Robert Wittman, a former FBI special agent does so magnificently is he draws the reader in with the usual promise of FBI crime titillation... then educates the reader so gently and rhythmically it becomes an almost subliminal indoctrination into what I had previously viewed as a "hoity-toity" upper-crust world that was not meant for me.

Wittman starts you off with names that any layman would be familiar with such as Rembrandt and Picasso... and then takes you on the same educational journey he himself traveled... such as getting educated in a course at an art gallery that simply takes you aback when you're told: "ON THE WALL IN FRONT OF ME, SURROUNDING A THIRTY-FOOT WINDOW HUNG THREE WORKS WITH A COMBINED WORTH OF HALF A BILLION DOLLARS." (Picasso's "THE PEASANTS"... Matisse's "SEATED RIFFIAN"... and Matisse's "THE DANCE".) What the author does from there on out is not only illuminate the world of art... but he shares such a strong empathy for the people whose works of art have been stolen. At times the victims are individuals... at times the victims are galleries... at times the victims are cities and states... and at times the victims are entire countries.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Mitchell VINE VOICE on October 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
It's true! Truth can be more astounding and interesting than fiction.

Mr. Wittman's account of his career as an undercover FBI agent trying to recover stolen artworks is fascinating, exciting and oh so interesting. He recounts eight to ten major busts he made along with a few references to other smaller ones and one colossal failure.

What helps these accounts resonate so well is that Mr. Wittman (and his co-author) walk the fine line of giving enough background for understanding without allowing that background noise to drown out the very good stories of the stings and busts. For instance, there is just enough biographical information and theory on Rembrandt to give the reader a taste of the artist while not overshadowing the hunt for his stolen "Self Portrait". The author also gives his theories of undercover work, background information on the structure of the FBI and the entire art theft industry, his own biography as well as information on most of the pieces of art he recovered.

Most of the book reads like a novel. Some of the accounts of the undercover stings had all the tension of a good mystery or piece of crime fiction.

Not only is this book chock full of information with excellent accounts of recovering (or attempting to recover) stolen art, it is highly entertaining. And, for that, it is highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa0767864)