A Gentleman and a Thief: A Discussion with Dean Jobb and Jonathan Eig

We are delighted to host author Dean Jobb as he celebrates the release of his new book, A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue. In this captivating true crime tale about "the greatest jewel thief who ever lived" (Life Magazine), Arthur Barry charms celebrities and millionaires while simultaneously planning and executing the most audacious and lucrative heists of the 1920s. A Gentleman and a Thief  sparkles with insight into the allure of gemstones and our fascination with well-planned heists and the suave, clever criminals who pull them off. Mr. Jobb will be in-conversation with bestselling author Jonathan Eig, winner of the 2024 Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his book King: A Life.

This event is free with registration. To register, please CLICK HERE

More About the Book: A skilled con artist and one of the most successful burglars in history, Arthur Barry was adept at slipping in and out of bedrooms undetected, even when his victims slept only inches away. He became a folk hero, a gentleman bandit touted in the press as the “Prince of Thieves” and an “Aristocrat of Crime.” Think Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief. In a span of seven years, Barry stole pearls, diamonds, and other precious gems worth almost $60 million today. Among his many victims were a Rockefeller, an heiress to the Woolworth Department Store fortune, an oil magnate, Wall Street bigwigs, a top executive of automotive giant General Motors, and a famous polo player. He befriended the Prince of Wales, Harry Houdini, and other luminaries. The rollicking, caper-filled rise and dramatic downfall of this master thief is a high-speed ride told in stylish prose.

A Gentleman and a Thief is also a love story. Barry confessed to dozens of burglaries to protect his wife, Anna Blake. Sentenced to a twenty-five-year term, he staged a dramatic prison break—triggering a bloody inmates' riot—when Anna became seriously ill, so they could be together for a few more years as fugitives. 

Michael Finkel, bestselling author of The Art Thief, calls A Gentleman and a Thief, “An enthrallingly propulsive, unpredictably twisty biography of one of the most fascinating criminals of the 20th Century. Dean Jobb’s immersive writing and in-depth research brings this startling true story to life. I was hooked from the very first heist.”

More About the Author: Dean Jobb is the author of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream, winner of the inaugural CrimeCon CLUE Award for true crime book of the year and longlisted for the American Library Association’s Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. His previous books include Empire of Deception, which the New York Times Book Review called “intoxicating and impressively researched” and the Chicago Writers Association named the Nonfiction Book of the Year. Esquire magazine has hailed him as “a master of narrative nonfiction.” Jobb has written for major newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune and Toronto’s Globe and Mail and his monthly true crime column, “Stranger Than Fiction,” appears in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. He is a professor at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction program.

About Our Conversation Partner: Jonathan Eig is a former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal. He is the New York Times bestselling author of six books, including King: A Life, the biography of the civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., which won the 2024 Pulitizer Prize for biography. Other titles include Ali: A LifeLuckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig, and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season. Ken Burns calls him "a master storyteller," and Eig's books have been listed among the best of the year by The Washington PostChicago TribuneSports Illustrated, and Slate. He lives in Chicago with his wife and children, you can find out more about him HERE

Event date: 

Monday, July 8, 2024 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Event address: 

The Book Stall
811 Elm Street
Winnetka, IL 60093
Pre-Order Now Badge
A Gentleman and a Thief: The Daring Jewel Heists of a Jazz Age Rogue By Dean Jobb Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781643752839
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Algonquin Books - June 25th, 2024

in this captivating Jazz Age true crime about "the greatest jewel thief who ever lived" (Life Magazine), Arthur Barry, who charmed celebrities and millionaires while simultaneously planning and executing the most audacious and lucrative heists of the 1920s. 
 
A skilled con artist and one of the most successful burglars in history, Arthur Barry wa