Monumental Money: People and Places on U.S. Paper Money

Monumental Money: People and Places on U.S. Paper Money by Yigal Arkin
112 pages, hardback, 6.5 x 9.5 inches, color illustrations, English, ISBN: 9780615464541, US$17.95 (CAN $19.95)
Arkin Publishing. For details, visit Small Press United from IPG.

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This hardcover book has an attractive layout with color pictures throughout, covering the banknotes of the United States from the colonial period to present day, although the information is not presented in chronological order. The book starts off examining Federal Reserve Notes, rather than setting the stage with introductory text that puts everything into context.

According to the publisher, “this book is a nontechnical, accessible journey through a dimension of history,” which is certainly true. There are some intriguing anecdotes about and quotes by the people depicted on America’s notes, but the descriptions of these people and the various places which illustrate the notes is cursory. Absent entirely is any discussion of items of interest to collectors, such as security elements, dates, signatures, codes, letters, serial numbers, etc.

If you’re looking for a primer on the banknotes of the United States, including the Confederate States of America, Monumental Money fits the bill. But if you’re a collector interested in the intricacies of the nation’s various issues, the buck does not stop here.