This rare and out of print set of books just showed up on eBay. We have the set and were a bit shocked at the price, but for a researcher, there’s good stuff in here. For the person interested in action stories or lots of color photography, these may not be the right books. (If you’re going to spend thousands on SOG books, buy the six volumes so far of Jason Hardy’s coffee-table masterpiece, Team History of a Clandestine Army, which are still available — just). But Saal was both a member of the unit and an early historian. The books are a solidly made and well-printed overview of the organization and its operations, and have not been duplicated since.
Harve passed away in December, 1997 and we have no idea who holds the rights to these works, although he definitely did have family who survived him. The first priniting is, to date, the first and only edition.
The four books were organized thematically:
- Volume I, History/Evolution. This traces the course of SOG from its clandestine beginnings to the stepwise conversion of its assets and capabilities to RVN control.
- Volume 2, Locations. This is the “where” of SOG: bases, launch sites, etc.
- Volume 3, Legends. A limited who’s who of SOG luminaries.
- Volume 4, Appendixes.
We found each volume interesting.
At the time Saal wrote these books, SOG’s existence was gradually being declassified, and most of the material in the books was very hard to find. As a SOG vet, Saal had a wide range of contacts, and almost everybody had not only
The books are not numbered. Generally, a set of four sells for far more than the sum of the values of the four individual books. There are copies available from time to time through Amazon’s affiliated sellers as well as on eBay. With the Amazon sellers, it’s hard to tell who’s selling one volume or all four.
We might post a more detailed review of the set at some time, but we’re planning to make a list of indispensable books about SOG with a capsule review of each — Saal’s definitely qualify.