A page-turning story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless quest for justice.
Kirk Wallace Johnson served in Iraq with the US Agency for
International Development in Baghdad and Fallujah as the Agency's
first co-ordinator for reconstruction in the war-torn city. He went
on to found The List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies. His work on
behalf of Iraqi refugees was profiled by This American Life,
60 Minutes, the Today Show, the subject of a
feature-length documentary, The List, and a memoir, To Be
a Friend is Fatal.
A Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and the recipient of fellowships from the American Academy in Berlin, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Wurlitzer Foundation, his writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times and the Washington Post. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, son and daughter.
"The Feather Thief truly is a tale of obsession . . . A wonderfully
assured writer, [Johnson] takes us on a curious journey into the
past . . . Vivid and arresting." * The Times *
"A fascinating investigation of a seriously ridiculous crime" * New Scientist *
"Within pages I was hooked. This is a weird and wonderful book . . . Johnson is a master of pacing and suspense . . . it's a tribute to Johnson's storytelling gifts that when I turned the last page I felt bereft." * Spectator *
"The Feather Thief is a riveting read. It also stands, I believe, as a reminder of how an obsession with the ornaments of nature - be they feathers, bird eggs or ivory - can wreak havoc on our scientific heritage" * Nature *
"Weird and wonderful" * The Tablet *
"The book is The Orchid Thief for the fly-fishing and birding set: worth its weight in exotic bird feathers, which you'll learn are very expensive" * The Paris Review *
"The Feather Thief is not only a thrilling account of the crime and its aftermath but also a potted history of our relationship with the natural world" * Mail on Sunday *
"The questions [The Feather Thief] raises are more pertinent than ever." * Daily Mail *
"A fascinating book... the kind of intelligent reported account that alerts us to a threat and that, one hopes, will never itself be endangered" * Wall Street Journal *
"Johnson's narrative entertainingly recounts not just Rist's strange story but that of the pioneering Victorian ornithologists too" * New Statesman *