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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 4, January 25, 2009, Article 10

MICHAEL MAROTTA ON BURDETTE'S GUIDE BOOK OF PEACE DOLLARS

Mike Marotta submitted the following thoughts on A Guide Book of Peace Dollars. -Editor
Burdette Peace Dollars Allow me to offer another view of A Guide Book of Peace Dollars by Roger Burdette. Wayne Homren’s comments (E-Sylum Volume 12, Number 02, January 11, 2009) suggested that “the book's title should be A Guide Book of United States Peace Dollars.” Generally, “The Official Red Book” series from Whitman does not include a national term unless it truly differentiates the subject: The Official Red Book®—A Guide Book of United States Coins and A Guide Book of US Type Coins are two examples. Peace Dollars, Gold Dollars, Shield & Liberty Nickels, Lincoln Cents, and many others stand on their own. In support of that, I would like to know if there is any other coin ever made that is also known as a “Peace Dollar.” (I would accept a vredensdaalder if you have one.)

I must confess and apologize to being happy to find my own article for The Numismatist cited in the bibliography of this book (“The Beautiful, Yet Affordable Peace Dollar,” Volume 111, Number 6, June 1995). My piece cited 18 works, many of them articles from The Numismatist from 1921 and 1922. Burdette chose different details for his history. In his, George Morgan masterfully recut the reverse hub. I followed Breen who accused Morgan of whacking the galvano with a board to lower the relief. My research found that both Zerbe and di Francisci were disappointed with the final product. That said, I enjoyed reading Burdette’s book more than re-reading my own feature. That leads to another confession and apology. I have read but a fraction of the book.

That fact underscores a deeper concern with reviews. Back in the mid-1980s, reading and writing product reviews for computer periodicals, it was obvious to me that time is the true test of quality. We rushed into print, scribblers in a 100-meter race, leaving the buyers to be the lonely, long-distance runners, discovering the bugs, traps and incompatibilities that we never found. So, too, with books. Academic journals occasionally publish reviews of classic works as they take on new meaning or display new faults decades and generations after their initial appearance. I believe that Burdette’s work will continue to be important. Therefore, like Wayne Homren, I look forward to the optional hardcover binding on the inevitable second edition.



Wayne Homren, Editor

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