I am humbled and completely speechless by this review by Tom Sloper on www.sloperama.com. Tom was so generous and kind to agree to write a chapter in the book for us and, along with Michael Stanwick and our other experts, provided amazing gravitas, accuracy, and credibility to Mah Jongg – The Art of the Game.
SLOPER ON MAH-JONGG
|By Tom Sloper (湯姆 斯洛珀)
November 2, The Year Of The Horse 馬
A beautiful new book is coming this month: “Mah Jongg, The Art Of The Game,” by Ann M. Israel and Gregg Swain. The book gives a rare accurate accounting of the history of mah-jongg (thanks to Michael Stanwick and yours truly), and some gorgeous photographs of exquisite collectible mah-jongg sets, taken by Michel Arnaud.
Renowned mah-jongg historian and scholar Michael Stanwick wrote the text for the first chapter, “A Brief History of Mah Jongg.” I wrote the text for the second chapter, “Mr. Babcock Invents Mah-Jongg™.” I put together facts from an interview with Lisa Lethin (the granddaughter of Babcock’s partner, Anton Lethin) on mahjongmuseum.nl, and facts from Philip Orbanes’ book on the history of board games company Parker Brothers (“The Game Makers”), Milton C. Work’s 1924 book “Mah-Jongg Up-To-Date,” and even patent filings from the nineteen twenties. My chapter thus puts the Babcock story together in a more complete way than has ever been seen in print before.
But enough about me, and my small part of the book. The photos are simply stunning. The authors contacted numerous collectors and obtained photos of some beautiful sets and amazing rare sets, including some historically significant sets that Michael Stanwick has described in his excellent scholarly pieces in the journal of the International Playing Card Society, “The Playing Card.” There are also photos from the early days of mah-jongg. History and stories and spectacular imagery – what more could you want?
The book is hardcover, 8.5″x8.5″ (or if you prefer, 215x215mm). It’s published by Tuttle Publishing, ISBN: 9784805313237. It’s slated to be released on November 18 – just in time for Christmas! It would be a great gift for a mah-jongg enthusiast or collector.