Rachel Shteir’s THE STEAL is the first serious study of shoplifting, tracking the fascinating history of this most ancient of crimes. Dismissed by academia and the mainstream media, largely misunderstood, shoplifting has become the territory of mischievous teenagers, tabloid television, and self help gurus. And yet, shoplifting incurs remarkable real life costs for retailers and consumers. After guiding us through a historical tour of all things shoplifting, Shteir shows us that shoplifting in its many guises—crime, disease, protest—is perhaps best understood as a reflection of our society, and ourselves.
Rachel Shteir is the author of Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show, Gypsy: the Art of the Tease. She has written for publications including The New York Times, The New Republic, Tablet, Slate, The Guardian, Playboy, The Los Angeles Times, and The Nation.