Safeguarding History: Trailblazing Adventures Inside the Worlds of Collecting and Forging History, with foreword by Doris Kearns Goodwin, is the eloquent, captivating, moving, and complex story of the world’s most prominent dealer in historical documents, letters, manuscripts, and artifacts. This is a quintessential American success story. Kenneth Rendell’s unconventional methods uncovered Adolf Hitler’s forged diaries and evaluated Nixon’s Watergate tapes. It is more than an Indiana Jones adventure; it is the story of the real person behind it all.
Kenneth Rendell has traveled the world, tracking down, buying, and selling the most significant, iconic historical letters and documents from the Renaissance to the present day.
Safeguarding History chronicles his adventures collecting and dealing in rare coins at age 11, searching for out-of-date coins in the Caribbean as a teenager, and then discovering the world of historical letters and documents—once an insular, reclusive field, which he revolutionized over his 70-year career.
Rendell’s passionate pursuit of original sources, and his belief in the power of holding history in your hands, brought him to evaluate collections as diverse as Richard Nixon’s White House papers and Watergate tapes, the archives of Martin Luther King and of Paramount Studios, and the personal World War II artifacts of General George S. Patton.
Rendell’s reputation as a collector and dealer is matched only by his unrivaled expertise in the area of handwriting forgery detection. He unmasked the Hitler Diaries forgeries, debunked the fake Jack the Ripper diary and Elvis Presley music manuscripts, and exposed the Mormon “White Salamander” forgeries, critical to solving the infamous Mormon murders.
His excitement for collecting led to Rendell building libraries for notable collectors including Bill and Melinda Gates. His own collection of World War II artifacts, the most comprehensive in the world, led to his founding The International Museum of World War II.
Safeguarding History is a human story. Kenneth Rendell writes with candor about his successes and failures, and what it took to overcome personal tragedy. He shares his passion for nature, extreme helicopter skiing, and windsurfing the big waves in Hawaii—counterbalances to his intense professional life.
328 pages, hardcover with dustjacket, 6 x 9 inches.