"The journey of life is governed by a combination of chance and judgment," Bradley had written, in his rules for the game, while still a young man. "In starting life, it is not necessarily a fact that poverty will be a disadvantage, so in the game it causes the player no loss." But the older he grew, the better Bradley came to see that he had been wrong. Some people are given better chances than others. There are such things as lousy starts, rotten luck, and bad cards. Maybe he even regretted that he had placed Poverty so close to Infancy and made the chances of getting to School no better than one in three. The kindergarten movement was about beating those odds. Maybe, as he neared the mansion of happiness, Milton Bradley saw in making crayons for kindergartners not only their second chance but his, too: redemption, at last.
Excerpted from The Mansion of Happiness by Jill Lepore. Copyright © 2012 by Jill Lepore. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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