Safeguarding History book cover

Unearthing the Past: Kenneth W. Rendell’s Adventures in Collecting and Forging History

Whitman Publishing is set to release an enthralling autobiography that offers readers a glimpse into the extraordinary life of famed artifacts collector and dealer, Kenneth W. Rendell. Titled Safeguarding History: Trailblazing Adventures Inside the Worlds of Collecting and Forging History, this 328-page memoir promises to take readers on a captivating journey through Rendell’s remarkable career. Often referred to as the “Indiana Jones” of the art and collecting world, Rendell’s adventures span the globe, and his book is set to debut nationwide on October 3, 2023.

For decades, Kenneth W. Rendell has traversed the far corners of the world in pursuit of some of history’s most significant and iconic artifacts. From ancient relics to Renaissance masterpieces, Rendell’s expertise extends to rare manuscripts, historical artifacts, and autographs. He has built a reputation as a master collector and dealer, known for debunking historical forgeries and solving perplexing mysteries.

Among his notable accomplishments, Rendell played a key role in debunking the infamous Hitler Diaries in the 1980s. He also aided in resolving the Mormon Church’s “White Salamander Letter” murders and exposed the so-called Jack the Ripper diary as a fraud. With an impressive portfolio to his name, Rendell orchestrated the creation of Bill and Melinda Gates’s personal library and has appraised, bought, and sold major archives, including those of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Frederick Law Olmsted, and General George Patton, among others. His legacy extends to a staggering collection of 12 million uncataloged artifacts from the Northern Pacific Railroad.

Rendell’s expertise in World War II history is equally lauded. He is the founder and creator of the International Museum of World War II, and his profound understanding of the Home Front, black ops, propaganda, espionage, and the experiences of ordinary soldiers and service members is unparalleled. His book World War II: Saving the Reality, published by Whitman Publishing in 2009, was hailed as a work of magnificence and importance by the OSS Society Journal.

In Safeguarding History, Rendell delves into his early days as a prodigy coin dealer during the 1950s and early 1960s. His connections and friendships with luminaries of that era, such as Q. David Bowers, Kenneth Bressett, Walter Breen, Grover Criswell, and George Fuld, led to the founding of the Rittenhouse Society and other fruitful collaborations. Readers will be treated to thrilling accounts of Rendell’s adventures while hunting down coins in the Caribbean and Europe, where he encountered and interacted with renowned dealers, collectors, and researchers.

The memoir is not just a recollection of historical artifacts and events; it also provides an intimate look into Rendell’s personal encounters with some of the world’s most prominent figures. From Malcolm Forbes and Clint Eastwood to Tom Hanks and various Supreme Court justices, Rendell’s stories are peppered with encounters with Patti Reagan, Otto Kerner, Bill Gates, John Eisenhower, Ted Kennedy, and even a cross-country meeting with Harry Truman when he was just 20 years old.

Apart from being a thrilling recounting of Rendell’s adventures in the world of collecting, Safeguarding History also serves as a personal reflection on overcoming challenges and succeeding in both business and life. Doris Kearns Goodwin, who provides the book’s foreword, praises Rendell as a master storyteller. She aptly captures the essence of the memoir, describing it as an exploration of a world filled with adventures, mysteries, sensational hoaxes, thefts, and even murders.

Beyond his pursuits in antiquities, Rendell’s zest for life extends to impressive sporting achievements. Readers will be awed by his passion for extreme sports, from ski racing in his 30s to helicopter skiing in his 40s, Hawaiian windsurfing in his 50s, and snowboarding well into his 80s.

Renowned historian Ken Burns hails Kenneth W. Rendell as one of the greatest collectors of historical artifacts, emphasizing how his work humanizes and personalizes the scope and promise of human endeavor.

With its October 2023 release date approaching, Safeguarding History is poised to become a must-read for history enthusiasts, art aficionados, and collectors eager to partake in Kenneth W. Rendell’s extraordinary journey through time and across the globe. This trailblazing autobiography promises to be a riveting tribute to the world of art, history, and the indomitable spirit of a true adventurer.

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