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Conjuring: Being a Definitive History of the…

Conjuring: Being a Definitive History of the Venerable Arts of Sorcery,… (1992)

by James Randi

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If one were to choose a history based on its title alone, James Randi's Conjuring: Being a Definitive History of the Venerable Arts of Sor cery, Prestidigitation, Wizardry, Deception, and Chicanery and of the Mountebanks and Scoundrels Who Have Perpetrated these Subterfuges on a Bewildered Public, in short, Magic! would have to be at the top of the list. Yet the work belies its title -- though well-written and beautifully produced, the book is not a definitive history. In fact, Randi begins the book with an apology for those wonderful performers he omits. Conjuring is also lacking in original scholarship -- Randi admits that he "shamelessly took" material from many of his bibliographic sources. But it remains a stylish, engaging and gloriously illustrated 314-page tour of the world of magic and its most noted performers, and includes a glossary, a listing of past and present magicians, an index of magic dealers, and a list of magic periodicals and organizations. ( )
  trickbooks | Nov 25, 2007 |
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(An Apology): Choosing what artists would appear in this book was a very difficult task.
(Introduction): Conjuring is said to be the second-oldest profession, and may well be the oldest of the theatrical arts.
Egypt and India are perhaps the countries most often connected in the public mind with wizardry.
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