Howard Berlin submitted this review of a new book on people and places on U.S. Paper Money. Thanks!
Monumental Money: People and Places on U.S. Paper Money
by Yigal Arkin
Book Review by Dr. Howard M. Berlin
A very good introductory book about U.S. paper money is the recent release by Yigal Arkin. Titled, Monumental Money: People and Places on U.S. Paper Money, it takes a non-technical look at our country's currency in use from the British Colonial Period to the present day. Unlike U.S. standard paper money books by Hessler or Friedberg, Monumental Money is not intended to be a catalog or guide in the traditional sense. There is no number system or prices given, nor is there a treatise on grading paper money. This is an ideal book for the neophyte or young collector who wants to easily learn the background of our nation's paper money.
Taking advantage of Arkin's own profession in computer graphics and printing and having written previous numismatic books for banks, Monumental Money is liberally illustrated, combining good layout design and use of colors to a maximum advantage to give the reader a visibly pleasing end product.
The book is divided in to three parts. Part 1 presents all the current notes in circulation ($1 to $100), including those designs being slowly withdrawn from circulation as newer designs replace them, including the newest 2011 $100 note. It also includes excellent color images and a brief description of the people on the face, sites on the back depicted on each banknote, and even the facsimile signature of the person on the face of the note. After each denomination there is a "Did You Know?" list of several facts about the person that appears on that note.
Part 2 presents a brief review of the history of the U.S. monetary system through the many types of banknotes
in use from the time of the British Colonial Period from approximately 1690 to the present day. There are 13
color-coded categories, each with one or more color illustrations, both face and back, of the notes issued
during these periods: Colonial Continental Currency, 1760-1788; Interest-Bearing Notes, 1812-1907; Demand
Notes, 1861-1862; Confederate Currency, 1861-1865; Fractional Currency, 1863-1876; United State Notes - Legal
Tender, 1862-1994; National Currency, 1863-1938; Gold Certificates, 1865-1936; Silver Certificates, 1878-1965;
Treasury Notes - Coin Notes, 1890-1899; Federal Reserve Notes, 1914-present; Federal Reserve Bank Notes; 1915-1945; and Emergency Notes, World War II.
Part 3 presents the high-denomination notes that are no longer in circulation, which most people possibly never knew existed. These denominations, although large by our standards wouldn't come even close to those used by the hyperinflation notes of some post-WWII European countries. These notes are the $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000, and $100,000 issues.
Monumental Money is a hardbound, 112-page book with index, approximately 7x10 inches filled with over 200 high-quality color illustration of notes, the people, and places related to the notes. It is reasonably priced at $17.95 (ISBN 978-0-615-46454-1). It is distributed by Small Press United (IPG, www.ipgbok.com) and can be purchased on Amazon.com.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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