The fox and the flies: the secret life of a grotesque master criminal

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Average Rating
Walker & Company,
Pub. Date:
1st ed.

A masterwork of historical reconstruction--the life and times of an arch criminal who may well have been Jack the Ripper.

During the three turbulent decades before World War I, Joseph Silver became the greatest criminal of his time, perfecting his skills as a burglar, gun runner, jewel thief, and ultimately trafficker in prostitution and female slavery across four continents. He was notorious even among his competitors at a time when such business was rampant on both sides of the Atlantic, and he covered his tracks with extraordinary skill.

A chance encounter with Silver's career in South Africa set Charles van Onselen on a twenty five-year obsession: a journey to reconstruct the shadowy life and times of--in some ways to match wits with--a devious master criminal. From Russian Poland in the 1860s, where Silver was born Joseph Lis, to London in the 1880s, turn-of-the-century New York, Argentina, and Africa, van Onselen recaptures the dangerous demimonde of the Atlantic world. Silver's notoriety was found among the most confidential correspondence of a dozen countries; what those in law enforcement kept to themselves, however, was how their officers had attempted to use Silver as an informer to infiltrate syndicates built on vice, only to have him outwit them as he moved in the risky space between police and prostitutes.

Such is the meticulousness of van Onselen's research that The Fox and the Flies is as rich in history as it is in the detail and drama of Silver's career, as layer after layer of his life and times are revealed. And it has an extraordinary pay-off, for van Onselen contends that Joseph Silver's darkest secret of all lay in London in the autumn of 1888 when, before he embarked on his legendary life of crime, he was, indeed, Jack the Ripper.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID c017cb83-98af-a460-91ab-6cf45485176f
Grouping Title fox and the flies the secret life of a grotesque master criminal
Grouping Author van onselen charles
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-10-10 01:06:21AM
Last Indexed 2019-03-18 04:17:49AM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Van Onselen, Charles.
author_display Van Onselen, Charles
available_at_rampart Florissant Public Library
detailed_location_rampart RLD Florissant Adult Non-fiction
format_category_rampart Books
format_rampart Book
id c017cb83-98af-a460-91ab-6cf45485176f
isbn 9780802716415
item_details ils:.b27385450|.i80841120|RLD Florissant Adult Non-fiction|B Sil|||1|false|false|||||On Shelf||rlfan||
itype_rampart Book
last_indexed 2019-03-18T10:17:49.905Z
lexile_score -1
literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_rampart B Sil
owning_library_rampart Rampart Library District
owning_location_rampart Florissant Public Library
primary_isbn 9780802716415
publishDate 2007
record_details ils:.b27385450|Book|Books|1st ed.|English|Walker & Company,|2007.|xxiv, 646 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
recordtype grouped_work
Bib IdItem IdGrouped StatusStatusLocally OwnedAvailableHoldableBookableIn Library Use OnlyLibrary OwnedHoldable PTypesBookable PTypesLocal Url
ils:.b27385450 .i80841120 On Shelf On Shelf false true true false false true 36, 37, 38, 40
subject_facet Biographies, Jewish criminals -- 19th century -- Biography, Serial murderers -- 19th century -- Biography, Serial murders -- England -- London -- History -- 19th century, Sex crimes -- History -- 19th century, Silver, Joseph, -- 1868-
title_display The fox and the flies : the secret life of a grotesque master criminal
title_full The fox and the flies : the secret life of a grotesque master criminal / Charles van Onselen
title_short The fox and the flies :
title_sub the secret life of a grotesque master criminal
topic_facet History, Jewish criminals, Serial murderers, Serial murders, Sex crimes, Silver, Joseph