Good morning bookies! Stand by for news.

*** After five years, Richard Evans brings his three volume history of the third Reich to a close with The Third Reich at War 1939-1945. As loyal bookies know, your friendly neighborhood BBG is a World War II kind of guy, currently researching a book and also having been published in ‘World War II’ magazine. So he knows a little bit of which he speaks on the subject. He hasn’t read…wait, what’s with this third person crap? I haven’t read Evans latest book and I include here a link to a review. But from a careful reading it seems that, like almost every historian of the Third Reich, Evans has an axe to grind. The reviewer chides towering figures like Joachim Fest for being romantic revisionists even while admitting that Evans is revising the accepted thinking. In other words, it’s impossible to know who is and who isn’t a revisionist because both sides are claiming and/or denying the label.

This review is quite well written, it’s a great lesson in reviewing if nothing else. I look forward to reading the book and judging for myself.

Richard J. Evans
878pp. Allen Lane. £30.
978 0 713 99742 2
US: Penguin Press. $40. 978 1 594 20206 3

*** Another new book review, I include the Spanish Civil War with WW2, as I do the war in China. The connection is all too obvious, even if Spain never actually entered the war. This one looks fascintating.

“Gerda Taro was a fearless, pioneering chronicler of the Spanish Civil War. Robin Stummer uncovers evidence to suggest that her unflinching pictures led to her murder…”

*** Dateline: Stockholm. From Reuters ” French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio, described by President Nicolas Sarkozy as a “child of all continents” who embodied a globalized world, won the 2008 Nobel prize for literature on Thursday. The Academy, which decides the winner of the prestigious 10 million Swedish crown ($1.4 million) prize, praised the 68-year-old author for his adventurous novels, essays and children’s literature.” There is no surprise here as the anti-American slant from the Nobel committee is well known, as is its preference for globalist literature. And I have no problem with that, it’s their prize and their money.

*** Points of Issue are interesting things. To bookies, a Point of Issue is that little difference that distinguishes a true first edition from a reprint. How does one knows such arcana? One researches, that’s how. That’s what your friendly neighborhood booskeller does for a living and learning points of issue is an endless process.

Just yesterday I learned something new. The first book in George R.R. Martin’s extremely popular fantasy series ‘Song of Fire and Ice’ is A Game of Thrones. Now, once upon a time this was a pricey purchase. Then, for some odd reason, the price went way down as a flood of them came on the market. Very strange. So yesterday someone emailed me a question about a copy of this book that I have for sale and I did what friendly neighborhood booksellers do, I researched. And thus did I discover why the prices for first editions had plummeted: the book had been reprinted!

I know, I know, you’re saying ‘wait, BBG, reprints aren’t first editions.’ True. But many of those passing as booksellers today don’t know the difference, don’t do their research, and sell people overpriced books that are not what they claim to be. It seems that the 2002 reprint of this book kept the ‘1’ in the number line. You would think that since it has an entirely different cover than the 1996 first edition it would be easy to spot the difference, even for Scanner People. And it would, if most of these people bothered enough to investigate. Sadly, they do not. And that’s why their are scores of first editions available, the vast majority of which are no doubt reprints. Caveat emptor.