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Squash: A History of the Game


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Table of Contents


Foreword by George Plimpton


1. The Joints Trembled on the Spit

The origins of racquets sports with real tennis and racquets; the invention of squash at Harrow School in England

2. Heaven's Heaviest Artillery

The birth of squash in America at St. Paul's School in 1884; infancy in Philadelphia; the strange and sad history of the game of squash tennis; the saga of standardization and why North American squash developed the narrow court and harder ball.

3. Don't Keep Late Hour

Harvard's squash dynasty, 1922-1937; Harry Cowles, genius coach of seven national champions.

4. Hollow-Eyed and Squeaky

The start of women's squash; Yale and intercollegiate squash; squash on the Titanic; a tour of squash cities and tournaments in the 1920s and '30s.

5. Send for the Drama Critic

The Merion Cricket Club juggernaut; the Diehl Mateer/Henri Salaun rivalry of the 1950s; the start of the U.S.Open and the arrival of the Khans.

6. A Clam in Mud at Low Tide

Victor Niederhoffer; the game expands across the nation; women, juniors and colleges in the 1950s and '60s; Harvard dynasty redux under Jack Barnaby.

7. Sex, Scandal and Celebrities

Public squash in the 1970s -- the great explosion.

8. Box of Rain

The North American professional tour of the 1980s.

9. 18-16 in the Fifth

Mark Talbott versus Jahangir Khan, November 1984.

10. Bait and Switch

The tortuous change from North American to international standards.

11. The Infinitely Greater Game

A short history of squash doubles.

12. This Mollycoddled Age

Squash in the twenty-first century; rebirth and expansion; dreams of Olympic gold and a new generation of players.




Appendix: Record of Champions


About the Author

James Zug was born in Philadelphia in 1969. He captained the squash team at Dartmouth College. A senior writer at Squash Magazine, he has written for The Atlantic Monthly, Outside, The New York Times Book Review and Tennis Week. He holds a master?s in nonfiction writing from Columbia University and lives with his wife in Washington, D.C.


Tom Wolfe The squash world has been waiting for a book like this. I bet even the most dedicated and knowledgeable maestros of tight rails and feathery drop shots will learn lots of fascinating stuff they never knew before.
Mark Talbott From schoolboys swatting balls on outdoor walls to the pros competing on portable glass courts in Grand Central Station, Squash beautifully conveys the fierce battles, exciting developments and many unforgettable personalities who have loved our game."
Frank Deford Expert/hacker, hardball/softball, doubles/singles -- all squash devotees should read James Zug's comprehensive and passionate account of the history of their game.

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