The fifth edition of Coins: Questions and Answers has been released by Whitman Publishing. This small volume packs a lot of information inside, and is a great place for beginning U.S. coin collectors. Originally put together to answer Frequently Asked Questions by readers of Krause coin publications, the book covers a wide range of topics in a brief, yet interesting and informative way.
I happened to have a copy of the third edition on my bookshelf, so I pulled it out for a look. The third edition was produced by Krause Publications. The page sizes and number of pages are different, but flipping through the two together I found many sections where the text matches word-for-word.
No surprise there, but I was curious about how the book came to be published by Whitman. I was also confused by the back cover of the third edition - it pictures Carl Allenbaugh and credits him as the author. So at what point did Whitman take over as publisher, and when did Mishler become the sole editor/author - after Allenbaugh's death?
In true E-Sylum fashion I went straight to the source and asked Cliff Mishler. He writes:
The first edition was published back in the 1965/66 era. It was presented as being authored by the editors of Coins magazine, with the contributors being Ed Rochette and Al Varner, along with myself. I served as the coordinator of the project.
By the time the second edition rolled around, I believe we just indicated that it was the work of the Krause Publications editors, as Ed and Al were no longer in the mix. Again, I coordinated the project.
When it came time to generate the third edition, sometime in the early 80s as I recall, I commissioned the late Carl Allenbaugh to completely rewrite the materials.
Then, somewhere along the line I traded the title to Whitman in exchange for the Mexican Coins book by Ted Buttrey and Clyde Hubbard.
There were several printings of the fourth edition presented over the years, with me listed as author and a footnote: “Based on an Original Manuscript by Carl Allenbaugh.”
When the fifth edition was being worked up, I had requested that Whitman again incorporate on the title page an acknowledgment of the contributions that had been provided by Carl, but somewhere along the line my request got misplaced, and when I was reviewing the final pages I missed that fact.
Many thanks to Cliff for taking time to provide this summary of the book's history. -Editor
THE BOOK BAZARRE DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE
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