Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

Notices

Books and Publications Discussion and reviews of books, videos, and magazines.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-13-2020, 04:22 AM   #1
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

I have been invited by poster/moderator "VideoPro" to post my critique (which I have said will be less than flattering) of said book.

I plan to post a review of a chapter a day, although I fully expect to be banned before the full review is over. With that said, let's jump in.

In addition to weird capitalization, the section about the front cover contains the first misspelled word that I have noticed: ďSem-BluffĒ.

In the introduction, the Second Battle of El Alamein, fought between what Wikipedia says was then called the Panzer Army Africa and the British Eighth Army, is described as being fought by ďGerman Army AfricaĒ and the ďEnglish Eight ArmyĒ.

MM is intent on capitalizing ďGambling TheoryĒ.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 04:23 AM   #2
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

Page 11 has a footnote, yet he doesn’t seem to want to do this for sources.

I’m not sure why they feel the need to say the "American Broadcasting Company", but can’t spell out Florida in referring to "Miami, Fla" and don’t use a period to abbreviate the state.

It’s funny that they use a picture of Hank Stram from 1955 in a chapter about Super Bowl IV.

Last edited by d2_e4; 09-13-2020 at 04:38 AM.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 04:25 AM   #3
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

David and Goliath has been discussed, so I will add that Mason’s story relies on Goliath suffering the effects of gigantism. He describes Goliath as a "longtime champion", suffering from the health problems that people with gigantism acquire as they get older. As far as I can tell, the Bible says nothing about how long Goliath had been fighting. It is also believed that rather than being around nine feet tall, he was closer to six foot six, if you go off earlier texts and accept his stated height as either an exaggeration that was added later or a transcription error.

Victor Davis Hanson (misspelled as "Hansen") is mentioned at the start of the chapter on Xerxes.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 04:30 AM   #4
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

The chapter on Isabella has two sources listed at the end, the first chapter to do so. Flipping through the book, it seems like chapters that list sources primarily tend to cite non-English sources, so this doesn’t seem like Mason’s work. It’s inconsistently done and one chapter merely had one source listed as "Wikipedia" when I skipped ahead to look at how often this was done.

I’m not sure why the "C" is capitalized in the phrase "During the 16th and 17th Centuries". There’s a lot of weird capitalization choices and I am not going to list every one.

There are a lot of sentences that begin with the word "But". The language tends to be clunky, like a 5th grade book report. This is not written by a good storyteller who is gifted at crafting narratives. It feels more like someone adding unnecessary verbiage to pad the word count. I could probably cut 10% of the length of this book just by tightening the language.

I am not a fan of the tracking in the typography which leads to some lines in the narrow spaces next to an illustration looking like there is a full space between every letter.

The bouncing around of tenses is becoming increasingly annoying.

The chapter on the Emancipation Proclamation quotes the unattributed phrase "the last shriek of retreat". This comes from Wikipedia, but it is also a quote and Wikipedia properly cites Doris Goodwin’s Team of Rivals.

The chapter on U-Boat warfare begins by crediting a listverse article by Larry Jimenez (misspelled as "Jiminez").

The opening Wikipedia article sentence "The U-boat Campaign from 1914 to 1918 was the World War I naval campaign fought by German U-boats against the trade routes of the Allies” gets rewritten as "The U-boat Campaign, which lasted from 1914 to 1918, was the naval campaign fought by German U-boats during World War I." The next sentence, "It took place largely in the seas around the British Isles and in the Mediterranean", is unchanged.

Last edited by d2_e4; 09-13-2020 at 04:37 AM.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 04:49 AM   #5
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

In the chapter on Szilard, they quote Wikipedia, leaving in the comma which should be replaced by a period.

For some reason, this sentence stands out to me as good example of the book’s clunky prose style (and, yes, that is gratuitous capitalization of "uranium"…also "Strassmann" is misspelled):

What had happened was that in 1939 the discovery of Uranium fission by German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strasman had taken place, and Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner had “identified it as nuclear fission” which generated intense interest among physicists.

It is noted that a letter was written to a Belgian ambassador without explaining why. (To warn Belgium because the Belgian Congo could be targeted for its uranium ore.)

In "How Churchill Gave Britain a Chance", Churchill is not described as actually doing anything. As described, it sounds more like "How Churchill Luckboxed into Having a Chance Because Hitler Shifted Targets for No Good Reason".

The book is inconsistent on whether it wants to use "US" or "U.S."

Weirdly, the full url for an article is given in the Gandhi chapter, when it wasn’t in the U-Boat chapter.

They can’t decide if it is"Mohatma" or "Mahatma".

Mason states that "many of the gambles in this book can be represented by an expectation equation." So far, he has failed to represent any of the gambles in that form, which should be the perspective of a good modern gambler.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 04:57 AM   #6
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

The chapter on the Tet Offensive cites u-s-history.com.

There is an unnecessary comma in "January, 1968". I have found at least one example in previous chapters where there was not a comma between the month and year.

The next chapter, "Peace in the Middle East", is subtitled "Anwar Sadat and The Israeli Peace Treaty", so there is inconsistent capitalization of "the" right next to each other.

This chapter recognizes biography.com "for help", which makes it sound like the website was of active aid.

Another cut-and-paste comma ends a sentence.

"Sept 1978" No period, no spelling out the month as has been done elsewhere in the book.

The first instance of an illustration credit is to note that a picture of de Klerk and Mandela is copyrighted by the World Economic Forum.

The book goes 13 for 14 in correctly spelling "Mandela".

Zeno and BriantheMick2 get credited for suggesting the topic of Kublai Khan and the Divine Wind.

This chapter includes both "Typhon" and "typhoon".

The Cortes chapter mentions the Great Captain, but doesn’t bother including his real name, Gonzalo FernŠndez de Cůrdoba.

Some blatant lack/misuse of apostrophes: "governors pardon", "Velazquezs orders", "Tabasco’s’ submission"

Who had "then" as a word that was likely to be misspelled?

The use of the word "hecatomb" seems obviously borrowed from an unattributed source.

Nuno de Guzman is referred to as the president of the Audience, a strange translation of the court known as the Real (Royal) Audencia.

"A mess of skirts" seems likely to be a literal translation of a Spanish idiom.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 05:13 AM   #7
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

"Don Carlos: The Worlds Unluckiest Man" - no apostrophe in the chapter title

"left-handed" with a hyphen and "right handed" without a hyphen occur in the same sentence.

Andreas Vesalius has his name spelled "Vesalias".

The part with Don John of Austria is a mess. Don Carlos, who did not become Emperor Charles V, attended university with Don John, the illegitimate son of Charles V, half-brother of Philip II, and uncle of Don Carlos. The last relation is mentioned without explaining the rest.

The chapter on Squanto credits an article by Eric Metaxas. It points to his personal website, which says that the article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal. Metaxas is a conservative radio host and author. He has written popular biographies of religious figures such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther that appear to be received poorly by actual historians. He has also written the children’s books Donald Builds the Wall and Donald Drains the Swamp.

More annoying inconsistencies within the same sentence: "Benedict, Md." with a comma and abbreviated state name and "Bladensburg Maryland" without a comma.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 02:03 PM   #8
Wilbury Twist
Pooh-Bah
 
Wilbury Twist's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: 4977 miles from Kells
Posts: 4,978
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

Nice.

My office hires writing interns quite frequently. At times, they run their submissions through me. As tedious as the job can be, I ultimately enjoy providing a breakdown of corrections/suggestions – in terms of both what and why.
Wilbury Twist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 09:11 PM   #9
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

I didn't really come here trying to rubbish Mason. I'm sure he's a decent author, and quite frankly, probably a much better author than I am. It irked me that Mason was being touted as an "editor", which he is certainly not. So, I gave some examples of what an editor would do with Mason's manuscript.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2020, 10:08 PM   #10
lol_at_you
grinder
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 513
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

Quote:
Originally Posted by d2_e4 View Post
It irked me that Mason was being touted as an "editor", which he is certainly not.
Well, not a good one anyway.
lol_at_you is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2020, 08:08 PM   #11
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,672
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

Quote:
Originally Posted by d2_e4 View Post

What had happened was that in 1939 the discovery of Uranium fission by German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strasman had taken place, and Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner had ďidentified it as nuclear fissionĒ which generated intense interest among physicists.
They didn't mention that Meitner was one of my father's professors.
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2020, 10:58 PM   #12
Al Mirpuri
Pooh-Bah
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Narnia
Posts: 5,372
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

Quote:
Originally Posted by d2_e4 View Post
I have been invited by poster/moderator "VideoPro" to post my critique (which I have said will be less than flattering) of said book.
Thanks for the critique.

However, I think the most damning indictment is that the concept is not original. Viewing world events through a gambler's perspective goes back - in print - at least to Total Poker (1977) by David Spanier, where en passant, he gives such an account of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Though, I do believe, this is the only book length treatment from such a perspective.

If it brings the appreciation of history to a wider audience then I think the book will have served the world well.

Last edited by Al Mirpuri; 09-16-2020 at 11:12 PM.
Al Mirpuri is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2020, 11:29 PM   #13
NickMPK
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 10,885
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

I’m glad to see something like this on the forum, and hope these sort of contrary opinions continue to be welcomed.

It might be helpful to people if you posted some thoughts about the book overall though, maybe expanding on your thought in post #4.

I think I am in total agreement with what you said about the writing style just based on my reading of the sample chapters.

I usually pounce on any 2+2 book with subject matter of any interest to me. And the historical subjects would certainly be among those interests. But I was convinced to avoid this one based on the sample. Maybe this is the style of all 2+2 books and it is just less noticeable when the subject is instructional or first-person narrative, but I found the simplistic prose way too distracting to even try to appreciate the content.

Last edited by NickMPK; 09-17-2020 at 11:38 PM.
NickMPK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2020, 11:42 PM   #14
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

It's not my review. I reproduced some posts from elsewhere (with the original poster's permission), in response to a debate regarding editorial quality in a different thread. To this end, I purposely excised the poster's comments on the book's content. I am sure you can find the original material on the internet if you're interested.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2020, 06:50 PM   #15
Mason Malmuth
Top Dog
 
Mason Malmuth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: @MasonMalmuth
Posts: 11,523
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Mirpuri View Post
Thanks for the critique.

However, I think the most damning indictment is that the concept is not original. Viewing world events through a gambler's perspective goes back - in print - at least to Total Poker (1977) by David Spanier, where en passant, he gives such an account of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Though, I do believe, this is the only book length treatment from such a perspective.

If it brings the appreciation of history to a wider audience then I think the book will have served the world well.
Hi Al:

I'm glad you mentioned this because I knew the late David Spanier fairly well and had coffee with him on a number of occasions. He was an outstanding person and first class in every way.

I read his book Total Poker about 30 years ago and had completely forgotten he had a chapter about the Cuban Missile Crisis. If I had remembered this, it certainly would have been referenced. But I guess it's better to be mentioned here than not at all.

However, and I'm just going by memory, I think there are differences between what is written in our book and what David Spanier wrote. In the History of the World from a Gambler's Perspective we talk about the threat of future bets which is a no-limit concept that is especially powerful in games like hold 'em with multiple rounds of betting, and we give the book No-Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice by Sklansky and Miller credit for this idea. I don't believe that David Spanier approached the Missile Crisis in this fashion.

But you're still correct. We should have recognized my old friend for linking the Cuban Missile Crisis to a poker game.

Best wishes,
Mason
Mason Malmuth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2020, 11:53 PM   #16
d2_e4
Pooh-Bah
 
d2_e4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 5,103
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

The premise of the book appears to be explaining to the layperson how the concept of "expected value" can be usefully applied in real life historical situations.

I think if we are to frame historical situations in this context, we should draw a distinction between games of complete information and games of incomplete information, as they are qualitatively different beasts. Sacrificing the exchange in chess is really not the same thing as jamming 5 high on the river in hold-em, but they are both "gambles". It would be useful to explain this to the lay reader, instead of offering definitions like "expectation is what you think it is, if you go to cross the street you expect to get to the other side" (from memory, this is pretty much a direct quote from the book).

Last edited by d2_e4; 09-22-2020 at 12:01 AM.
d2_e4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 12:45 AM   #17
Mason Malmuth
Top Dog
 
Mason Malmuth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: @MasonMalmuth
Posts: 11,523
Re: An alternative review of "History Of The World From A Gamblerís Perspective"

Quote:
Originally Posted by d2_e4 View Post
The premise of the book appears to be explaining to the layperson how the concept of "expected value" can be usefully applied in real life historical situations.

I think if we are to frame historical situations in this context, we should draw a distinction between games of complete information and games of incomplete information, as they are qualitatively different beasts. Sacrificing the exchange in chess is really not the same thing as jamming 5 high on the river in hold-em, but they are both "gambles". It would be useful to explain this to the lay reader, instead of offering definitions like "expectation is what you think it is, if you go to cross the street you expect to get to the other side" (from memory, this is pretty much a direct quote from the book).
That's not the premise of the book. And if you are interested in the premise of the book, listen to the first 20 minutes or so of this podcast:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lut...ature=youtu.be

Mason
Mason Malmuth is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2008-2020, Two Plus Two Interactive
 
 
Poker Players - Streaming Live Online