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Name: Mad World of Bridge, The
Author: Olsen, Jack
Target Audience: Novice+
Category: Entertainment
Pages: 239 Date: 1962

Synopsis: A "must" treasure for all the millions of bridge players, THE MAD WORLD OF BRIDGE is history, humor, social commentary, and satire rolled into one. It is loaded with anecdotes of the events -- shocking or hilarious, from mayhem to politics -- and of the personalities -- from the obscure collegian who held thirteen spades to Culbertson, Goren, and other greats who give bridge its mad and wonderful hold on us. In the 1960s, there were thirty-five million Americans sucking happily on the sore tooth of bridge, and the number has been in the tens of millions ever since auction had its vogue in the early 1900's. By 1938 Frank Condon told the readers of Collier's that the game had become "a menace to the future of the land" and "was costing the nation 273,586,312 working hours a day or enough time to build two Boulder Dams and one Panama Canal." Another social commentator called bridge a "disease." But however dangerous its malignancy or contagion, the game is here to stay. And Jack Olsen is here to be its lighthearted Boswell, with the first and only definitive book on what bridge means to the world and whether society can survive its grip. The tournaments, the innovators, the kibitzers, the champions, the duffers, the great gaffes, and the exciting triumphs are all here in this gaily irreverent bible on bridge. (And to think it all started in the garden of whist, whence sprang bridge -- whist, which begot auction bridge which begot contract bridge which led to murder, divorce, suicide, mayhem, and other social evils.)

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