Roll the Bones: The History Of Gambling Book

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Roll the Bones: The History Of Gambling Book
David G. Schwartz

In Roll the Bones, historian David G. Schwartz tells the epic story of gambling, beginning with its early emergence from divination rituals and ending with today’s global gaming culture. In a sweeping, rollicking narrative, Schwartz looks at the betting games people have played since the dawn of history, and argues convincingly that gambling has always been a crucial part of the human experience.

The book begins with the rolling of knucklebones in prehistoric times, progresses through the casting of lots portrayed in the Bible and sacred Hindu writings, and traces gaming through the heights of the Greek and Roman civilizations. Schwartz continues through the Middle Ages, investigating the mysterious invention of playing cards in twelfth-century China, the birth of the casino and table games such as baccarat in Venice, and the British Empire’s work in spreading gambling throughout the world. Schwartz describes how lotteries financed some of the first American colonies, how gambling prospered in the Civil War and the Old West, how organized crime exploded in the twentieth century by running illegal gambling operations, and how gambling dollars transformed Las Vegas into the world’s number-one tourist destination. Packed with colorful characters from Julius Caesar to Casanova, George Washington to Steve Wynn, Roll the Bones is an all-in history of humanity’s fascination with chance.

First Paperback Edition: Published by Gotham Books (Penguin Group) in 2007, 592 pages, 9.25″x6.25″ paperback. Foreword by James McManus. This is an overstock edition and is in good but not perfect condition.


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