Poker and Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America's Favorite Card Game

Poker and Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America's Favorite Card Game

by Martin Harris


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Introduced shortly after the United States declared its independence, poker's growth and development has paralleled that of America itself. As a gambling game with mass appeal, poker has been played by presidents and peasants, at kitchen tables and final tables, for matchsticks and millions.

First came the hands, then came the stories - some true, some pure bluffs, and many in between. In Poker & Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America's Favorite Card Game, Martin Harris shares these stories while chronicling poker's progress from 19th-century steamboats and saloons to 21st-century virtual tables online, including:

  • Poker on the Mississippi
  • Poker in the Movies
  • Poker in the Old West
  • Poker on the Newsstand
  • Poker in the Civil War
  • Poker in Literature
  • Poker on the Bookshelf
  • Poker in Music
  • Poker in the White House
  • Poker on Television
  • Poker During Wartime
  • Poker on the Computer

From Mark Twain to "Dogs Playing Poker" to W.C. Fields to John Wayne to A Streetcar Named Desire to the Cold War to Kenny Rogers to ESPN to Star Trek: The Next Generation and beyond, Poker & Pop Culture provides a comprehensive survey of cultural productions in which poker is of thematic importance, showing how the game's portrayal in the mainstream has increased poker's relevance to American history and shaped the way we think about the game and its significance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781909457980
Publisher: D&B Publishing
Publication date: 06/07/2019
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 1,181,205
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Martin Harris is a writer, teacher, and poker reporter who has covered the game for the last dozen years. He earned a Ph.D. in English from Indiana University at Bloomington and has taught full- and part-time at the university level for two decades. He currently teaches in the American Studies program at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, where his courses include "Poker in American Film and Culture" and "Tricky Dick: Richard Nixon, Poker, and Politics."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 8

Introduction 10

1 Poker in the Past 17

2 Before Poker 24

3 Poker in Print 32

4 Poker on the Mississippi 42

5 Poker in the Old West 56

6 Poker in the Civil War 77

7 Poker in Clubs 90

8 Poker on the Bookshelf 110

9 Poker in the Home 134

10 Poker in the White House 148

11 Poker During Wartime 168

12 Poker in the Board Room 180

13 Poker in Folklore 190

14 Poker in Casinos 201

15 Poker on the Newsstand 213

16 Poker in the Movies 234

17 Poker in Literature 272

18 Poker on the Radio 288

19 Poker in Music 298

20 Poker on Television 312

21 Poker on the Computer 338

22 Poker Under Siege 354

23 Poker in the Future 367

Notes and References 372

Bibliography and Image Credits 396

Index 472

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