by Mason Long
Mason Long was born on September 10, 1842 in Luray, Ohio. He had a very difficult childhood, and then went on to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. He spent three years in the service, and discusses drinking and gambling, and their popularity among soldiers during the War. Afterwards, he drifted among various occupations, including running variety and minstrel shows, and much time in and out of jail. He was by his own account a degenerate gambler. Later, he turned to religion, went sober and wrote this book to help others avoid going down the same path as him, as well as to support the Temperance Movement.
This new edition is dedicated to Bruce Rich, by no means drifter, gambler or teetotaler, but certainly an explorer of human nature and human folly.