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This book is an excellent guide to the medals issued by the Inaugural Committees of presidents from William McKinley in 1901 to Richard Nixon in 1969, providing background information, mintages design notes and illustrations for each medal.  The author also provides a history of the medals and badges that were issued privately for the Presidential Inaugurations of Grover Cleveland in 1893 and the first inauguration of William McKinley in 1897.

I've enjoyed Sarah Vowell's work ever since I heard her piece The Greatest Love Story of the 20th Century about Johnny and June Carter Cash on This American Life, many years ago.  She approaches her topics from points of view that I, at least, would not have otherwise seen and does so most thoughtfully. 

Her latest book, Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, chronicles the Marquis de Lafayette who, as a 19 year old French aristocrat, made his way to America in order to test his own mettle and to wholeheartedly give his support to the American Revolution of which he would later say "has begun, for the civilized world, a new and the only true social order founded on the unalienable rights of man".  We are also reminded that (in the face of the collective short term memory that gave us Freedom Fries) without France, the very first ally of the United States of America, the Revolution would have most likely ended in failure.

Vowel shines lights down many of the paths that lead from Revolutionary America to current day America.  The paragraphs describing how we got from the Marquis de Lafayette to Bruce Springsteen are priceless.  Her somewhat snarky asides may put some people off, but I appreciate them.  A hardcore student of history may find the book wanting, but, for someone like me who likes to nibble at the edges, it was perfect.

This is a paperback book from the U.S. Mint was that was issued as a sales catalogue to promote the 1969 program to reissue many of the historic medals that the mint had produced since 1792.    There are two editions, one from 1969 and one from 1972.  Obviously, medals struck after those dates are not included in the catalogue.  While the sale program ended in the late 1970s, this catalogue is a valuable resource and contains descriptions of each medal, as well as extensive histories of the people and places they commemorate.  The catalogue can be readily found on Amazon or eBay for less than $15.00, which, in my opinion, is a bargain for the information it contains.

This is a fabulous guide that covers the medals struck during the first century of the United States Mint in Philadelphia.  It is profusely illustrated with mintage information and a bit of the history behind the striking of each medal.  

It is a limited edition that was published by the Tokens and Medals Society in 1977 and is long out of print.  It can be a bit pricey, but it is well worth it if you are serious about collecting U.S. Mint medals from this period.

This book was originally published in 1878.  Original copies are quite rare, but there is a 1967 reprint that is quite good and, usually, reasonable priced.  It covers the medals struck by the U.S. Mint from 1776 - 1876.  It includes the circumstances that caused each medal to be authorized, as well as much of the historic correspondence between the principal players of the time.  There is also a section contain detailed illustrations of each medal covered.

Some of the editions on Amazon are digital reprints of varying quality, but, if you look carefully, you can find copies of the 1967 reprint.

A beautifully written and illustrated book that covers the history of two of the most famous subscription medal societies in the United States - The Circle of Friends of the Medallion and the Society of Medalists.  The author provides much background information about the founders of each series, the artists that were engaged and detailed photos of each medal.  Highly recommended for collectors of these medals.