Designers & Dragons is probably the best history of RPGs that you can find, and this is coming from a guy who has his BA in History. I'm a history buff, but this is enjoyable reading even if you aren't.
8 bucks gets your the first volume of four of Designers & Dragons: The 70's. Its an amazing read. Can't personally speak for the other two offerings at the 8 buck level, but I'll be checking it out.
For about $18.50 you get the next three volumes of Designers & Dragons as well as Hobby Games: The 100 Best. Again, can't speak about the Hobby Games title, but the next three volumes of Designers & Dragons are an excellent read.
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The Minotaur for Old-School Essentials
*Requirements:* Minimum STR 9, Minimum CON 9
*Prime Requisite:* STR and CON
*Hit Dice:* 1d10
*Maximum Level:* 8
*Armor:* Leather, including shield...