Pacella's book 100 Legendary Knives contains excellent photos of exemplary knives of various types, albeit types arbitrarily chosen by him. The pics absolutely make the book worthwhile. However, because of Pacella's arbitrary choices of knives, some of the selected knives are not really "legendary" in any true degree, but simply an example of one of many types of knives. Various of the non-American bladesmiths and certainly most of the examples of French knife makers could have been replaced with more prominent names, most likely American. Of course, having arbitrarily named certain knives as legendary, like the Mississippi Gambler's knife, Pacella immediately opens himself to statements such as mine. It is good to remember that everybody's list of 100 legendary anything is up for discussion and disagreement. As well, the writing style at times creates ridiculous senses of things--"The various periods of prehistory succeeded each other, ..." What is "prehistory," that is, what exact time is before historical reckoning? And, yes, historical delineations of time are usually chronological and therefore do fall one after the other. The pics make the book, and it is well-worth the price only for the pics.
There are plenty of knife valuation guides on the market, but 100 Legendary Knives is something different: it probes the history of legendary figures who named or created the knives, from Jim Bowie to Bill Sanders, a member of the Timberline trio. Each knife receives color photos and a vivid history of its makers, purposes, and how it fits into the knife world. Essential for knife collectors.