Another book review

I have a huge stack of books to review. Although I ask for a token fee of $5, these authors have not paid me a penny. In fact, only one author ever sent me the $5. I have had to turn down a few books because I don’t like to write negative reviews, and I will not pretend that I like a book when I consider it poorly written.

This review comes from a press release that I found quite interesting:

New book penetrates world of art forgery and authentication

[PRESSWIRE] London, Untied Kingdom - 27 October 2015 – Imperial College Press and World Science Publishers have released “The Scientist and the Forger” a new book by Jehane Ragai, that takes the reader down the fascinating and ever more turbulent journey of forgery detection and art authentication.

Aimed at the layman, the book includes a multitude of captivating stories including that of the forged Chagall painting ultimately ending in a French furnace, the 32 acclaimed inauthentic Jackson Pollocks found in an attic and the Russian avant garde expert accused of fraud. Not even the shrewdest of forgeries, it demonstrates, can withstand scrutiny by cutting-edge scientific tools all intelligibly presented in the book.

“The Scientist and the Forger” provides fresh insights into the psychology of the forger and the viewer and provides a novel analysis of the role of courts operating under the dictates of the common law system in authentication matters, with the eventual questioning of such a practice.

Dealing with cases as recent as 2014/2015, the book provides a gripping portrayal of the complexity of challenges faced by the art world today: unscrupulous so-called forensic scientists, dealers and agents who, keen to live by sales in the art market are sometimes willing participants in fraud, claims of art fraud being met with legal libel, and forgers who once tracked down, are given astonishingly light sentences followed by celebrity upon release.

Jehane Ragai, author of “The Scientist and The Forger” is an Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the American University in Cairo, has worked on the study of the Giza Sphinx and was a four-time judge for the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science award.