I asked Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing for a review of 2009 and a look forward to 2010. Here it is!
At first glance it might seem like Whitman's numismatic titles have slowed down lately --- but pound for pound I think we're keeping up with recent years! Some of our 2009 books were mammoth productions: Dave Bowers's Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money and the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins come to mind. Fred Reed's Abraham Lincoln: The Image of His Greatness was also a major undertaking; lots of "moving parts" in that one. The Professional Edition of the Red Book was, as you can imagine, a huge project.
Our editorial and art departments always have books in various stages of development. Some of them are massive and keep us busy for months or years, all behind the scenes until we're ready to fire up the publicity. We've got some exciting new works along those lines, to be unveiled in 2011 and beyond. I can't go into specifics at the moment, but I can confirm that they touch on most fields of the hobby: world coins, ancient coins, paper money (old and new), U.S. federal coinage, errors and varieties, numismatic history, etc.
2009 was a banner year for non-numismatic Whitman titles, as well. In some ways we've started to recapture the flavor of the "old days" of Racine, when Whitman and Western Publishing dished out a smorgasbord of themes and genres. We came out with three different Barack Obama "Vault" books, two titles on Michael Jackson, a Vault on Elvis Presley, another on vampires, and dozens more on various sports topics.
Closer to the Antiques/Collectibles arena was Kenneth Rendell's World War II: Saving the Reality, which has been reviewed in the New York Times, PARADE Magazine, Town & Country, and other national media. Some E-Sylum readers will recognize Rendell as a founding member (along with Q. David Bowers, Eric Newman, Ken Bressett, and others) of the Rittenhouse Society, and as the autograph expert who famously debunked the so-called Hitler Diaries.
We rolled out electronic versions of the Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money and the Professional Edition Red Book. Both of these books are available in searchable high-res DVD.
Looking to 2010: we've got some neat books coming out this year, including two for the National Park quarters series. I predict that coinage program will be another boon for the hobby, similar to the State quarters, as well as for the parks system. Bob Leonard's Curious Currency (a beautifully illustrated and engagingly written book) will be out in a few weeks. We've got an interactive book on buying and selling gold, by Jeff Garrett and Dave Bowers, in the works.
NBS members Joel Orosz and Len Augsburger --- two of the best researchers and most entertaining writers in the hobby, in my opinion --- are finishing up their manuscript on Frank Stewart and the first Philadelphia Mint. To say that their work is groundbreaking is an understatement.
Other famous names who will take the Whitman stage in 2010 include Federal Reserve Note specialist Robert Azpiazu; Franklin half guru Rick Tomaska; Jim Halperin and Hector Cantu, who have coauthored a beautiful book on vintage collectible movie posters; the error-coin dream team of Nick Brown, David Camire, and Fred Weinberg; and a few others who will be announced anon.
We'll have updated editions in our popular Bowers Series, and, venturing abroad, a Japanese-language edition of the R.S. Yeoman / Arthur Friedberg classic, A Catalog of Modern World Coins! The Cherrypickers' Guide will be updated and expanded for die-variety enthusiasts, with some exciting news to announce in that field. And of course the Red Book and Blue Book are both under way, with the 2nd edition of the Professional Edition Red Book taking shape in the coming months.
Looking forward to 2011, 2012, and beyond, Whitman has a great roster of books lining up for the hobby community, to be announced as we get closer to their rollout dates. From my office in Atlanta, I see the recent renaissance of numismatic literature continuing for some time!
That's great news - thanks for the update. We've got a lot to look forward to. Interested in reviewing one of the new books for The E-Sylum? Let me know. NBS is considering publishing a hardcopy compilation of 2010 E-Sylum book reviews, and your review could become part of that.
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