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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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The New York Times Bridge Book: An Anecdotal History of the Development, Personalities, and Strategies of the World's Most Popular Card Game Paperback – August 1, 2004

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book blends both history and instruction in a manner that will interest every bridge enthusiast, from beginner to expert."

About the Author

Alan F. Truscott is the bridge columnist for The New York Times. He is also the author, co-author, or illustrator of numerous books such as Common Sense Bidding, Basic Bridge in Three Weeks, The Bidding Dictionary, Bridge Basics, and numerous others.

Dorothy H. Truscott is the author of Bid Better, Play Better, Winning Declarer Play, and a former world champion player.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (August 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031233107X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312331078
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The New York Times Bridge Book

By Alan and Dorothy Truscott

Genre: Non-fiction

This is a wonderful collection of stories, plays, and tips on the still popular game of bridge. If you already know how to play, but maybe are a beginner and need some tips this is the book for you. Even more advanced players will find themselves challenged by the wide variety of hands played in the history of bridge. The authors write in such a way, intertwining the history of bridge with tips and instructions, that you will be caught up in the riveting story of players rise and fall to fame, without even realizing that your bridge skills are being improved while you read. This book has everything about bridge, from when it started as a game called whisk around a thousand years ago, to all the ethics of bridge and how to cheat unnoticeably. The book is filled with famous players, tournaments, hands, and scandals. It also gives you a couple of good tips on how to get yourself known in the bridge world. There are play-by-play instructions on how you would play some of the most notable hands dealt in bridge history, and many different instructions on various bidding conventions, or a certain play in bridge itself. If you want to soon be known for your fabulous bridge skills by all of your neighbors, then you cannot go without this book.

Alan Truscott has been the bridge editor for the New York Times since 1964, and has written thirteen books on bridge, including the famed The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge. Dorothy Truscott learned bridge when she was seven years old, and has won four world titles and thirty national. She has written the bestselling book Bid Better, Play Better, as well as a few others. Both are members of the American Contract Bridge League's hall of fame.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book for bridge players at all levels. It combines a history of the game, some basic instruction, interesting hands and memoirs of the authors. The Truscotts have a wealth of experiences to draw from, having been involved in bridge at the highest level for fifty years or more.

If you want a couple of quibbles, I disliked chapter 15, titled "Some Strange Situations". It contains cutesy miscellaneous material that they wanted to include, but didn't have a place for in the main narrative. Their editor should have just cut it out.

Also, they went a little overboard in their account of cheating in bridge. One piece of evidence of Italian cheating they give is a successful opening lead against 3NT (page 205). This seems like quite a stretch to call it cheating when the lead is fourth from the longest and strongest!

These nits aside, whether you like stories, hands, or instruction, you're sure to enjoy the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are a couple of histories of bridge from the origins in the Twenties and Thirties to some time in the Sixties and Seventies. _The Walk of the Oyster_ covers this ground with humor and human interest and _The Mad World of Bridge_ does also. When you read them, you benefit from seeing two points of view.

Truscott does the same thing for a later period, although he covers the early years also. There's not a ton of humor here and the point of view is that of Truscott. We get his viewpoint on several controversial situations. I don't say he's wrong but it will be nice when someone comes out with a different view of the period.

Still, it's a fine book with many useful and interesting hands. I often give a number of stars for a book I reviewed and wish I could give an additional half star or half a star less (or no stars at all for a few books) but this is a solid four. No fractions or adjustments.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What do you buy for an 85-year-old bridge player? Answer: This Book...she absolutely loved it...and lately has been taking as much as $4 weekly home from her local game. She's killing her competition!!! Well-written, easy to understand...terrific!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It starts at the very beginning and takes you through all the great players and dark tales - like cheating. There are interesting hands to play and better play tips. The bridge game that saved an American war ship is amazing. Highly recommended for all players.
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Format: Hardcover
This work is highly entertaining and I do not wish to discourage anyone from buying it. But it does contain the novel, poisonous and very doubtful claim that the Austrian team (Karl Von Bluhdorn, Hans Jellinek, Karl Schneider, Dr. Edward Frischauer, Walter Herbert and Udo von Meissl) cheated in their historic win over Culbertson's team (Ely and Josephine Culbertson, Helen Sobel and Charles Vogelhofer) at Budapest in 1937. The accusation doesn't seem very plausible, given that it is only supported by the analysis of two deals. Further evidence is claimed but not shown.

Even at that, the analysis depends on certain assumptions of what strong bridge players supposedly would have done if they had not, allegedly, had illicit knowledge of their partners' hands. You have to wonder about the strength of this kind of reasoning, since the authors earlier say that the standard of play at the match was not high on either side. If the standard of play was not very high, perhaps enough simple mistakes were made to "support" the claim of cheating.

It's also noteworthy that a New York Times column by one of the authors (Alan Truscott) was written on June 21, 1987 and devoted to the famous match, but makes no mention of cheating by the Austrians. So apparently, the "evidence" of the Austrian team's cheating languished in the public record for 65 years, only be discovered by the eagle-eyed authors in their preparation of this book.

It gives off a rather bad aroma that authors would so casually, based on scanty analysis, besmirch in print the reputations of six players no longer alive and thus unable to offer a rejoinder. And it is done with such self-assuredness: the authors even claim that the Austrian team's win should be discredited, and that the record should show that Culbertson's team won the match.
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