A Pocketful of History by Jim Noles is subtitled Four Hundred Years of America - One State Quarter at a Time. Published by Decapo Press, the new 362 page paperback retails for $16.00
From the publisher's site:
History is all around us—even in the spare change jangling in your purse or pocket. For the past decade, the U.S. Mint has offered America a pocketful of history through its popular 50 State Quarters Program. A Pocketful of History tells the story behind each state’s quarter: how each state chose its design; what is important about the people, scenes, and themes depicted on the coins; and what the collection tells us about ourselves. It’s an entertaining and enriching journey through four hundred years of America—in twenty-five-cent doses. This updated paperback edition will include the U.S. Mint’s new quarters honoring Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and four other territories.
Author Noles is not a coin collector, but his curiosity about the 50 States Quarter series led to this book.
I looked at the first state quarter, which was Delaware's, and wondered, "Who the heck is Caesar Rodney?"
Noles has researched the stories behind each of the quarter designs. I'll admit to being a bit snowblinded by the series - there were new designs coming out every few weeks for a decade, and many of them I hadn't really given a second thought to.
But a book like this is well worth reading to gain that background - often there's more to the story than one might think. For example, I learned a lot reading about the wild horses of Nevada, and the creation of Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.
Numismatists should be warned that it's a non-traditional numismatic book - there's nary a word about mintages, proof or uncirculated strikes, silver planchets, mint errors, etc., and David Ganz' role in promoting the concept is given only a passing mention.
Nevertheless, the book has found a place on my shelf. Besides, what other numismatic book has a plug from Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump?
For more information, see: www.perseusbooksgroup.com/dacapo/book_detail.jsp?isbn=0306817896
Wayne Homren, Editor
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