I think I heard a choir of angels sing when I found this book in the ACPL catalog.
I really wanted to get my hands on Ethnic Socks & Stockings after I brought it up when I was chatting with Derya Davenport.
I claimed the thumb-joint afterthought heel was from Turkey. I found the book to see if I was wrong. It looks like I was kind of making up the part about Turkey, but at least I remembered where I'd first seen the concept of a thumb-joint heel.
The skinny? This book is bursting with great photographs, clear charts and more technique than you can shake a stick at.
First printed in 1995, the book appears to be out of print. So, if you see a copy, snap it up!
Chapter two, alone, is practically the outline for coursework on historic knitting. Twenty six pairs of socks, from Gibson-Roberts' own collection. Pages are generally lain out to show the sock from a few angles, the charts you would need to make the sock for yourself and a good description of the techniques needed for that particular sock.
Chapters three and four explain, in detail, construction and design techniques needed for these socks.
Chapter five is one of my favorites, though. Seven sampler socks, each worked over about half as many stitches as usual, give the knitter a chance to try new color and shaping techniques without as much of an investment in yarn and time.
In Chapter six, Gibson-Roberts discusses fit, shares a great chart for sizing, and gives patterns for East/West hybrid socks.
Chapter seven is all about yarns, and even has a short course on spinning that I should probably read more closely.
Overall, worth the price at almost any cost. If you want to learn new color techniques, try something new, are interested in history, or just want to see beautiful photographs of socks, this book is for you.