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Modern books on the rare side— what do you have on your shelves?


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I was looking at my bookshelf and wondered how much some of my rarer books are worth. Now mind you, I’m not talking about seriously rare books you’d find at a Sotheby’s auction; I just mean some WWII and Vietnam (which is my interest) history books published in the last 25-30 years that are now a little tougher to find.


Here are some I pulled:


The Team in Pictures AATTV (served alongside US advisors and SF). I found a copy or two online going for $500 or so. When I found mine several years ago I think I paid 6+. Mine is signed by the AATTV member who originally owned it. I had been searching for this one for literally ten years.


First Airborne Task Force by De Trez. This was going for more money a few years ago. I found copies online from $300 to stupid. Some of his other books are also a bit expensive but not like this one. Mine is signed by De Trez. 


Special Forces of the United States Army by Ian Sutherland. I remember when this was a highly sought after title going for a few hundred bucks. The market must’ve died down as I found several from $60 to $250 or so.


PJs in Vietnam by Lapointe. I had been hunting for this one for a few years when a copy popped up on eBay several years back. I bought it for under $200. It now shows to be offered for $800 plus on Amazon. 


SOG Photo History by Plaster. This one is going for anywhere from $160 to ridiculous depending on the condition. Mine is signed.


Running Recon by Greco. This one is going for $200-$400 depending on condition. Mine is signed.


SOG 4 volume set by Saal. This set was going for stupid money years back. Like $1600 for the set. It may be worth half that now but I can’t find any for sale. Back when this set was super expensive I found a set for a $300 “Buy it Now” on eBay. They were still in shrink wrap. That was a great day.


LRRP by Borman. This is an awesome book that won’t be reprinted, according to Jay when I spoke to him last February. He says people contact him quite a bit looking for a copy. I can’t find any on the secondary market but I’d guess it’ll be expensive. Mine is signed.


Duel in the Mist vol 1 by multiple authors. I bought mine at a museum in Belgium years ago and it’s now being offered for 1k plus. 


The special leather bound edition signed by Jake McNiece and the authors of Warpaint the Filthy Thirteen by Killblane/Miller I’m surprised is still available from the publisher. It looks like, anyway. So this is still going for $100 but I think in the future it’ll be much more expensive. I think this edition had under 500 printed.


I understand that just because people put hefty price tags on these titles doesn’t necessarily mean they sell for that. But I think it indicates they are on the rare side.


I have several early Angolia titles that may be sought after but I didn’t check. I also think Jason Hardy’s books may be sought after down the road. 


Anyone have any similar titles on their shelves? 












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"Special Forces of the United States Army by Ian Sutherland. I remember when this was a highly sought after title going for a few hundred bucks. The market must’ve died down as I found several from $60 to $250 or so."


If you can find it for $60, that is a bargain.  While it has photos of various team and PRU patches, it also has an excellent narrative history of the US Army Special Forces up to 1982.


As far as being a reference book for patches, it was unfortunately infiltrated by about a dozen or so fake patches who were provided by the vendor that was selling them.  


Other books on SF patches are now available, with arguably improved photography.  I am thinking of Jason Hardy's series on SF team patches.  But Sutherland's book still stands the test of time with a wider selection of scrolls, tabs and task force patches, as well as relevant ARVN, PRU and Regional Forces patches.

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I had a complete set of Mike Martin's books on the ARVN Airborne, ARVN Rangers and the Vietnamese Marine Corps.  I bought them when they came out and thought they were overpriced at $35, but they did offer some unique photos.  These have been going for crazy prices lately as there seems to be a new generation of Vietnam era collectors out there scrambling for every resource they can find.  I was motivated by the fear that if I were gone my kids would donate them to the local Friends of the Library book sale.

Angels 1.jpg

Marines 4.jpg

Ranger 1.jpg

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Okay, don't choke on this one.... but it is an example of selling when the market is hot.


This was a book written by John Kerry when he was a protestor against the Vietnam War.


I picked it up at a used book store for about $10.  Despite the subject, the book included photos of a number of veterans wearing remnants of their uniforms and insignia.


Flash forward... during his presidential campaign, his fans were buying these up either out of loyalty or speculation.


It grieves me to let go of any book on my shelf, but I gave into temptation when I saw what they were going for on eBay.  Sure enough, I netted about $325

for the family food budget off of this one.


As for the rest of the story... Kerry was unsuccessful in his bid, and the demand for this book dropped like a stone.


Recently one sold on eBay for less than $8.00.




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Gil, I have all three of Martin’s books and I fear what will happen to all my books, too. I’ve started to inventory them and note the ones that are signed.


Good story on John Kerry; it is a good example what’s hot and what’s not. 

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