Designers & Dragons – A History of the Roleplaying Game Industry ’70-’79 is a great read. It covers roleplaying’s humble beginnings—from Wesely’s Braunstein to Gygax and Perren’s Chainmail to Gygax and Arneson’s Don’t Give Up the Ship! to Dungeons & Dragons. The book also covers the history of companies such as Games Workshop, Judges Guild, Game Designers’ Workshop, and Chaosium.
More than simply covering the history of games and companies, the book also focuses on the individuals who created them—their triumphs as well as their failures. Designers & Dragons is a comprehensive and an entertaining history sure to delight roleplayers both old and new.