The Backwash Squeeze and Other Improbable Feats: A Newcomer's Journey into the World of Bridge

Edward McPherson, Author . HarperCollins $23.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-06-112764-9

M cPherson is an amusing writer who believes that “bridge is a battle between fate and chance mediated by skill.” In this lighthearted book, he relates bridge's history and tours its contemporary universe. Originally derived from the British game of whist, the modern version of contract bridge was developed in 1925 by railroad heir Harold Stirling Vanderbilt. McPherson provides snapshots of men such as Ely Culbertson and Charles H. Goren, whose writings and activities spurred a bridge craze in the '30s and '40s. Traveling to Kansas City, Gatlinburg, Tenn., Las Vegas and London, among other locations, McPherson attended tournaments and visited clubs, interviewing famous players and collecting fascinating anecdotes. During classes at the Manhattan Bridge Club, the author became friends with 83-year-old Tina and persuaded her to accompany him to Chicago where the two played as partners in an annual tournament. The author says the bridge-playing population is aging, a process exacerbated by the current preference for poker among younger card players. Although McPherson provides a brief introduction to the rules, those who have played bridge will derive the most enjoyment from this breezy, absorbing account. (July 3)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Paperback - 340 pages - 978-0-06-112765-6
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-146255-9
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 368 pages - 978-0-06-146252-8
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-146250-4
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-185000-4
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