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The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure

by and

The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A revelatory and startling book that solves a sixty-year mystery about the eighth wonder of the world. The history of art has produced few works as ambitious and as valuable as the Amber Room. Famous throughout Europe as "the eighth wonder of the world," its vast and intricately worked amber panels were sent in 1717 by Frederick I of Prussia as a gift to Peter the Great of Russia. Erected some years later, they quickly became a symbol of Russia's imperial might. For more than two hundred years the Amber Room remained in its Russian palace in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), but when the Nazi army invaded Russia and swept into Leningrad in 1942, the panels were wrenched from the walls, packed into crates, and disappeared from view, never to be seen again.

Dozens of people have tried to trace the whereabouts of the Amber Room, and several of them have died in mysterious circumstances. Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark have gone further along the trail of this great lost treasure than anyone before them, and have unraveled the jumble of evidence surrounding its fate. Their search catapulted them across eastern Europe and into the menacing world of espionage and counterespionage that still surrounds Russia and the former Soviet bloc.

In archives in St. Petersburg and Berlin, amid boxes of hitherto unseen diaries, letters, and classified reports, they have uncovered for the first time an astounding conspiracy to hide the truth. In a gripping climax that is a triumph of detection and narrative journalism, The Amber Room shows incontrovertibly what really happened to the most valuable lost artwork in the world, and why the truth has been withheld for so long. The book's conclusions will changeour understanding of the twentieth century.

Review:

"In 1717, Prussian emperor Frederick I presented Peter the Great with a remarkable treasure: enough wall-sized panels covered with meticulously carved amber to decorate an entire room. Eventually installed in a palace near St. Petersburg, the Amber Room was stolen by the Nazis during the 1941 siege of Leningrad and hidden in Knigsberg (now Kaliningrad) — after which little is certain. Levy and Scott-Clark (The Stone of Heaven) devote as much space to their efforts to sift through the sparse evidence as to their reconstructions, and though the story line is a bit muddled early on, when they also try to squeeze in the room's history, they eventually find a comfortable balance. Digging through files from former Soviet museums and the East German secret police, they retrace previous investigations and slowly realize just how valuable the missing room was to the Soviets as Cold War propaganda. Even after the collapse of communism, its potential recovery continues to stoke the flames of Russians' memories of the Great Patriotic War, and the probe raises important (though unfortunately unanswered) questions about the Red Army's activities as the war wound down in Europe. The pair of investigative journalists never quite manages to distract readers from the inevitable failure of their search, so the probable fate of the room, when finally broached, may strike some as anticlimactic. However, the authors do offer an intriguing peek at the inner workings of Soviet bloc espionage — along with a detour into the avariciousness of some contemporary Russians. 50 b&w images, 3 maps. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A fascinating look into Soviet-era politics, through the lens of art history." Kirkus Reviews

Book News Annotation:

When the Nazis invaded Russia, they removed and hid the legendary Amber Room built by Catherine the Great in her St. Petersburg palace. Immersing themselves in Cold War intrigues, London-based journalists traveled widely to investigate this lost treasure's fate. Maps and b&w photos situate the geographic and historical contexts. Scott-Clark and Levy are the authors of The Stone of Heaven: Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade (2002).
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

This revelatory and startling book solves a 60-year mystery about the eighth wonder of the world — an ambitious and valuable work of art that was stolen by the Nazis from the palace in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1942.

Synopsis:

The history of art has produced few works as ambitious and as valuable as the Amber Room. Famous throughout Europe as “the eighth wonder of the world,” its vast and intricately worked amber panels were sent in 1717 by Frederick I of Prussia as a gift to Peter the Great of Russia. Erected some years later, they quickly became a symbol of Russias imperial might.

For more than two hundred years the Amber Room remained in its Russian palace outside St. Petersburg (Leningrad), but when the Nazi army invaded Russia and swept towards Leningrad in 1941, the panels were wrenched from the walls, packed into crates, and disappeared from view, never to be seen again.

Dozens of people have tried to trace the whereabouts of the Amber Room, and several of them have died in mysterious circumstances. Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark have gone further along the trail of this great lost treasure than anyone before them, and have unraveled the jumble of evidence surrounding its fate. Their search catapulted them across eastern Europe and into the menacing world of espionage and counterespionage that still surrounds Russia and the former Soviet bloc. In archives in St. Petersburg and Berlin, amid boxes of hitherto unseen diaries, letters, and classified reports, they have uncovered for the first time an astounding conspiracy to hide the truth.

In a gripping climax that is a triumph of detection and narrative journalism, The Amber Room shows incontrovertibly what really happened to the most valuable lost artwork in the world, and why the truth has been withheld for so long.

About the Author

Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark are internationally renowned investigative journalists for the Guardian in London, and have been nominated three times for the British Press Awards. They are the authors of The Stone of Heaven: Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade. They live in London and Thailand.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802714244
Subtitle:
The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure
Author:
Catherine Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy
Author:
Scott-Clark, Cathy
Author:
Scott-Clark, Catherine
Author:
Levy, Adrian
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Subject:
General
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Art and the war
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
History - Modern (Late 19th Century to 1945)
Subject:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war.
Subject:
Amber art objects - Russia (Federation) -
Subject:
Art - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20040601
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Illustrated
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Europe General
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Russian
Hobbies, Crafts, and Leisure » Crafts » Jewelry » Collecting

The Amber Room: The Fate of the World's Greatest Lost Treasure Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802714244 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In 1717, Prussian emperor Frederick I presented Peter the Great with a remarkable treasure: enough wall-sized panels covered with meticulously carved amber to decorate an entire room. Eventually installed in a palace near St. Petersburg, the Amber Room was stolen by the Nazis during the 1941 siege of Leningrad and hidden in Knigsberg (now Kaliningrad) — after which little is certain. Levy and Scott-Clark (The Stone of Heaven) devote as much space to their efforts to sift through the sparse evidence as to their reconstructions, and though the story line is a bit muddled early on, when they also try to squeeze in the room's history, they eventually find a comfortable balance. Digging through files from former Soviet museums and the East German secret police, they retrace previous investigations and slowly realize just how valuable the missing room was to the Soviets as Cold War propaganda. Even after the collapse of communism, its potential recovery continues to stoke the flames of Russians' memories of the Great Patriotic War, and the probe raises important (though unfortunately unanswered) questions about the Red Army's activities as the war wound down in Europe. The pair of investigative journalists never quite manages to distract readers from the inevitable failure of their search, so the probable fate of the room, when finally broached, may strike some as anticlimactic. However, the authors do offer an intriguing peek at the inner workings of Soviet bloc espionage — along with a detour into the avariciousness of some contemporary Russians. 50 b&w images, 3 maps. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "A fascinating look into Soviet-era politics, through the lens of art history."
"Synopsis" by , This revelatory and startling book solves a 60-year mystery about the eighth wonder of the world — an ambitious and valuable work of art that was stolen by the Nazis from the palace in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1942.
"Synopsis" by ,
The history of art has produced few works as ambitious and as valuable as the Amber Room. Famous throughout Europe as “the eighth wonder of the world,” its vast and intricately worked amber panels were sent in 1717 by Frederick I of Prussia as a gift to Peter the Great of Russia. Erected some years later, they quickly became a symbol of Russias imperial might.

For more than two hundred years the Amber Room remained in its Russian palace outside St. Petersburg (Leningrad), but when the Nazi army invaded Russia and swept towards Leningrad in 1941, the panels were wrenched from the walls, packed into crates, and disappeared from view, never to be seen again.

Dozens of people have tried to trace the whereabouts of the Amber Room, and several of them have died in mysterious circumstances. Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark have gone further along the trail of this great lost treasure than anyone before them, and have unraveled the jumble of evidence surrounding its fate. Their search catapulted them across eastern Europe and into the menacing world of espionage and counterespionage that still surrounds Russia and the former Soviet bloc. In archives in St. Petersburg and Berlin, amid boxes of hitherto unseen diaries, letters, and classified reports, they have uncovered for the first time an astounding conspiracy to hide the truth.

In a gripping climax that is a triumph of detection and narrative journalism, The Amber Room shows incontrovertibly what really happened to the most valuable lost artwork in the world, and why the truth has been withheld for so long.

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