Friday, August 22, 2014

Book Review: World War I Victory Medals

World War I Victory Medals, by James P. Michels

Large Format, 282 Pages, full color, softcover. This is a great book. It covers pretty much anything you can think about in terms of the U.S. WW1 victory medal: how it was conceived, developed, issued and worn. It has examples of all the paperwork and boxes used. It also goes into all the various clasps that go on the medal and explains what was worn and why, and corrects some misconceptions of them (not just the Army ones, but the Navy clasps as well). The second half of the book goes into examining all the world's victory medals (not just the US, but all of them like Cuba and Japan), and breaking them down by the various known and identifiable differences. Some of these differences are pretty small, but if you collect them they become important. Sadly, it shows some of the fakes that have been and are being made.

Do not let the price fool you. Had this book been published by one of the military collector book publishers it would probably cost twice as much. It is, however, a print on demand book so it has its own benefits. Good because it keeps the cost down and in theory it should be able to be printed in Europe as needed and save expensive shipping. Plus, if some new fact or discovery comes along it could be added to the book instead of selling out the current stock for a new printing.  Not as good because it is not the glorious color on coated paper you normally see in fancy books. For me, and am pretty particular, I think the color is pretty good and have no problem with it.  The only change I would suggest is to maybe make some of the photos of very small details (such as mintmarks) larger. And that is being very picky.  

If you collect WW1 victory medals, or just WW1 medals you probably already have this book (if not you'd better). If you collect US WW1 items I highly recommend it.

World War I - Victory Medals


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