In his "Numismatic Bookie" column in the March 26, 2012 issue of Coin World, Joel Orosz takes a look at our print publication, The Asylum.
Here's an excerpt.
Typing “The Asylum” into an Internet search engine will provide many different results. One link, however, excites the numismatic literature lover, for The Asylum is also the official journal of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
As the wry name implies, it is a refuge for coin literature nuts. How nuts? Consider the “coprophagist” controversy. In the Fall-Winter 1980 issue, Walter Breen contributed “A Review of the Half Cent Literature,” which, editor Jack Collins noted, did not discuss any literature created after 1966. In the next issue, Roger Cohen, the author of American Half Cents: The Little Half Sisters, charged that Breen’s article did cover half cent literature published after 1966, but not his book, which he accused Breen of ignoring. Cohen then blasted Collins as “a liar and a bigot,” and concluded: “The editor belongs to the depths. He should be there also as a coprophagist.” (I would define “coprophagist,” but Coin World is a family-friendly publication.) Breen responded that he had edited his article in 1972, before Cohen’s book was published. Collins’ response was more concise: “In my opinion, American Half Cents is what a coprophagist would wrap his lunch in.”
Usually, The Asylum’s fireworks do not require consulting a dictionary. When in 1994 Charles Davis referred to a column written by the American Numismatic Association’s president as “one of the more nauseating articles we have read recently,” the antipathy was unmistakable.
The Asylum has just completed its 29th volume, under the talented editorship of David Yoon. How talented? John W. Adams once described an Adm. Vernon medal in which the admiral was wearing a toga. Yoon corrected “toga” to “paludamentum.”
The Asylum is one of the best bargains in numismatics, with a yearly NBS membership for $15 (www.coinbooks.org).
To read the complete article, see:
Literary barroom brawling: Wild times in The Asylum
Wayne Homren, Editor
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