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Ping Pong Fever: The Madness That Swept 1902 America Paperback – March 29, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Grant's writing on the sport's history appears in publications of the Museum of the International Table Tennis Federation. He has played table tennis in basements and back yards and city parks, on cruise ships, in school gyms and college dorms, and at summer camps, recreation centers, billiard parlors, hotels and resorts, but mostly at table tennis clubs.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475018606
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475018608
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,373,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Larry B. Hodges on May 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
During a break between coaching sessions I pulled out the book "Ping Pong Fever" and spent a fascinating afternoon learning about the 1902 American table tennis craze. The basic story is this: table tennis swept America in 1902 as a huge fad, and then was nearly forgotten for over two decades. If you have any sort of historical bent, or simply want to read about table tennis and its beginnings, you'll want to read this book. You don't even have to read it, though that's highly recommended; just the pictures tell the story. And it's absolutely packed with vintage table tennis pictures, circa 110 years ago. (Now I know why Steve Grant is the #1 contributor of pictures for CelebritiesPlayingTableTennis.com.) A bunch of kids on break gathered around and spent a bunch of time browsing the pictures with me.

The book has an unbelievable number of excerpts from newspapers of the time, giving readers a flavor of just how the game was viewed in those days. Numerous Ping pong cartoons also adorn the pages. The book has 26 chapters divided into six sections: 1. Going Viral; 2. Changing Lives; 3. The Victims and Their Gatherings; 4. Serious Cases; 5. How It All Started; and 6. How It All Ended. There are also ten "Side-Spin" sub-chapters that cover various themes, as well as an epilogue with four sections.

One of the best chapters is the one titled "Who Really Invented It?", which explains that "As with many inventions, this one was evolutionary, not revolutionary." The chapter gives "...the true early history of table tennis and ping pong, the most complete and accurate yet published, beginning at the beginning.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book as a gift for one of my best clients who loves history and is also a ping pong 'junkie' and amateur ping pong player. He LOVED it and was thrilled to receive it. I had a hard time putting it down when it first arrived as well, since I was very drawn into not only the interesting text but also the loads of graphics! Photos from decades old to almost centuries old. Such wonderful illustrations and renderings, and the fashions of the day. Really a great find--and an interesting read. Plus, it really illustrates to us how far this sport has come. It's also become more popular as of late-- table tennis clubs cropping up around the country and around the world! It's become trendy again. So great timing, and thank you, Mr. Grant, for taking the time to illustrate to us why this sport will never die.
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Format: Paperback
Steve Grant's Ping Pong Fever is a delightfully interesting read. I found it entertaining and hard to put down as it is a gathering of quite curious human interest stories. The research that was done for this book was extremely thorough. The multitude of old photos from the early 1900's as well as the stories that went with them made it very intriguing. You find out what the mainly upper class wore to play the game, what they thought about the game, the many comments, jokes, news stories and cartoons of the day, and most of all, how the game spread in popularity throughout the country. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever picked up a ping pong paddle or has any curiosity as to the origins of the game as well as anyone with any fondness of history of early 20th century America.
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