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The Games We Played

The Golden Age of Board and Table Games

Margaret Hofer

     10.25 × 10.5 in (26.0 × 26.7 cm)
Hardcover
160 pages
160 color illustrations
Publication date: 5/1/2003
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781568983974


As families are rediscovering the joys and virtues of staying and entertaining at home, board games have surged in popularity--indeed, sales doubled in the last year alone. This mirrors a trend in the late nineteenth century--the heyday of American board and table games

when, fueled by the introduction of color lithography, an explosion in the production of games coincided with a growing need for middle-class social entertainment.

Then, like now, the games that best captured players' imaginations mimicked, and sometimes poked fun at, the culture that produced them. Organized around themes such as courtship, commerce, travel, sports, and city life, The Games We Played brings together over one hundred eye-catching examples of America's rare and popular board games, such as The Game of Playing Department Store, which encouraged players to accumulate the greatest quantity of goods while spending their money as economically as possible, and Bulls and Bears: The Great Wall St. Game, in which players try their hand as speculators, bankers, and brokers, yelling each other down as if in a trading pit.

This playful visual survey and its thematic essays will cause board and table game aficionados to share in the revelry of togetherness.


Margaret K. Hofer is associate curator of decorative arts at the New-York-Historical Society.


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