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About the Author

Martin Gardner is the author of more than seventy books on a vast range of topics including "Did Adam & Eve Have Navels?", "Calculus Made Easy", & "The Annotated Alice". He lives in Hendersonville, North Carolina. (Publisher Provided)
Disambiguation Notice:

Martin F. Gardner, the author of Threatened Plants of Central and South Chile, is a different author.

Image credit: Martin Gardner, Mathematician


Works by Martin Gardner

Aha! Insight (1978) 507 copies
Relativity Simply Explained (1962) 413 copies
Mathematical Carnival (1975) 372 copies
The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener (1983) — Author — 349 copies
Mathematical Circus (1968) 347 copies
Mathematical Magic Show (1977) 238 copies
New Mathematical Diversions (1966) 209 copies
Great Essays in Science (1957) — Editor — 201 copies
Best Remembered Poems (1992) — Editor — 159 copies
Classic Brainteasers (1994) 132 copies
The sacred beetle and other great essays in science (1984) — Editor — 129 copies
Logic Machines and Diagrams (1958) 108 copies
The Flight of Peter Fromm (1973) 107 copies
More Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd (1960) — Editor — 95 copies
Order and Surprise (1983) 75 copies
Oddities and Curiosities of Words and Literature (1961) — Editor — 75 copies
Gardner's Whys & Wherefores (1989) 74 copies
On the Wild Side (1992) 59 copies
Puzzles from Other Worlds (1984) 53 copies
Mind-Boggling Word Puzzles (2001) — Author — 51 copies
The Incredible Dr. Matrix (1976) 50 copies
Enigmi e giochi matematici (1997) 45 copies
The Snark Puzzle Book (1973) 24 copies
The Wizard of Oz and Who He Was (1957) — Editor — 21 copies
Puzzling Questions About the Solar System (1997) — Author — 17 copies
Martin Gardner presents (1993) 17 copies
After the Dessert (1940) 15 copies
Colossal Book of Wordplay (2010) 13 copies
Matematica para Divertirse (1988) 13 copies
Smart Science Tricks (2004) 13 copies
In the name of science (1952) 10 copies
La magie des paradoxes (1985) 8 copies
Mathematical Puzzle Tales (2000) 7 copies
Impromptu 6 copies
Baffling brain-teasers (1983) 4 copies
Mental games 3 copies
Oom 2 copies
Desafíos mentales (2010) 1 copy
La ciencia 1 copy
一個信徒的出走 (2002) 1 copy
啊哈!有趣的推理 (1995) 1 copy
Ingenio Para Genios (1996) 1 copy
A DIE OF ANOTHER COLOR (1995) 1 copy
4. 1 copy

Associated Works

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass (1865) — Introduction, some editions — 25,759 copies
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) — Introduction, some editions — 22,243 copies
The Martian Chronicles (1950) — Introduction, some editions — 16,755 copies
The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare (1908) — Editor, some editions — 7,099 copies
The Emperor's New Mind: Concerning Computers, Minds, and the Laws of Physics (1989) — Foreword, some editions — 3,168 copies
The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (1999) — Introduction; Editor — 2,672 copies
The Annotated Alice (1960) — Introduction; Editor — 2,449 copies
Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888 (1888) — Introduction, some editions — 1,459 copies
The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904) — Introduction, some editions — 1,132 copies
The Annotated Wizard of Oz (1972) — Foreword, some editions — 1,005 copies
The Club of Queer Trades (1905) — Introduction, some editions — 983 copies
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contributor — 805 copies
Calculus Made Easy (1910) — some editions — 800 copies
The Moscow Puzzles (1956) — Editor, some editions — 527 copies
The Annotated Ancient Mariner (1960) — Editor — 433 copies
100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories (1978) — Contributor — 412 copies
American Fairy Tales (1901) — Introduction, some editions — 346 copies
Little Wizard Stories of Oz (1914) — Introduction, some editions — 331 copies
Queen Zixi of Ix (1905) — Introduction, some editions — 291 copies
A Dreamer's Tale and Other Stories (1910) — Foreword, some editions — 288 copies
The Magical Monarch of Mo (1896) — Introduction, some editions — 280 copies
Alice in Puzzle-Land (1982) — Introduction, some editions — 255 copies
536 puzzles & curious problems (1967) — Editor, some editions — 250 copies
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (1966) — Editor — 246 copies
Wordplay: The Philosophy, Art, and Science of Ambigrams (1992) — Foreword, some editions — 241 copies
The Country of the Blind and Other Science-Fiction Stories (1997) — Editor, some editions — 222 copies
Mathematical Puzzles of Sam Loyd (1959) — Editor — 217 copies
This Is My Best: Great Writers Share Their Favorite Work (2004) — Contributor — 163 copies
The Annotated Innocence of Father Brown (1988) — Editor — 160 copies
Mathenauts: Tales of Mathematical Wonder (1987) — Contributor — 126 copies
The Wasp in a Wig (1977) — Editor, some editions — 101 copies
John Dough and the Cherub (1974) — Introduction, some editions — 70 copies
The Vintage Anthology of Science Fantasy. (1966) — Contributor — 67 copies
Anticipations (1999) — Introduction, some editions — 65 copies
The Outer Edge (1996) — Contributor — 48 copies
The Little Book of Horrors (1992) — Contributor — 41 copies
Isaac Asimov's Marvels of Science Fiction (1979) — Contributor — 29 copies
The Best Science Fiction Stories: 1949 (1949) — Contributor — 28 copies
Magician's Magic (1965) — Introduction — 27 copies
Calculator's Cunning: The Art of Quick Reckoning (1964) — Foreword — 24 copies
Isaac Asimov's Masters of Science Fiction (1978) — Contributor — 24 copies
Isaac Asimov's Worlds of Science Fiction (1980) — Contributor — 23 copies
The Conquest of Time (1942) — some editions — 20 copies
Lewis Carroll observed (1976) — Contributor — 19 copies
Beware familiar spirits (The Scribner library ; 860) (1938) — Introduction, some editions — 18 copies
A Bouquet for the Gardener: Martin Gardner Remembered (2011) — Contributor — 11 copies
Isaac Asimov's Near Futures and Far (1981) — Contributor — 10 copies
As Tomorrow Becomes Today (1974) — Contributor — 10 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 5, January 1974 (1974) — Contributor — 6 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 6, February 1975 (1975) — Contributor — 5 copies
Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 16, No. 1, Fall 1991 (1991) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 4, December 1974 (1974) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 5, January 1978 (1978) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cricket Magazine, Vol. 5, No. 3, November 1977 (1971) — Contributor — 3 copies
Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. 16, No. 4, Summer 1992 (1992) — Contributor — 2 copies
Kalki : Studies in James Branch Cabell — Contributor, some editions — 1 copy
The American book collector — Contributor, some editions — 1 copy
Mr. Belloc Objects and Still Objects to "The Outline of History" (2008) — Introduction, some editions — 1 copy


19th century (471) 20th century (380) adventure (430) Alice (388) annotated (352) British (414) British literature (406) children (999) children's (1,744) children's books (359) children's fiction (387) children's literature (1,157) classic (2,046) classics (2,118) ebook (396) English literature (455) fantasy (4,738) fiction (7,253) illustrated (382) Kindle (349) literature (1,304) Mars (384) math (2,655) mystery (455) non-fiction (1,118) novel (936) own (381) Oz (731) philosophy (605) physics (535) poetry (572) puzzles (1,033) read (997) recreational mathematics (376) science (1,717) science fiction (3,380) sf (465) short stories (846) to-read (3,062) unread (347)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Gardner, Martin
Date of death
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Place of death
Norman, Oklahoma, USA
Places of residence
Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA
New York, New York, USA
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, USA
University of Chicago (B.A. | Philosophy | 1936)
science writer
Gardner, James (son)
CSICOP: Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal
Humpty Dumpty
Scientific American
Skeptical Inquirer
United States Navy (WWII)
Awards and honors
American Academy of Arts & Sciences (1997)
George Pólya Award (2000)
Trevor Evans Award (1998)
Carl B. Allendoerfer Award (1990)
Leroy P. Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition (1987)
L. Frank Baum Memorial Award (1971)
Short biography
Martin Gardner was born on October 21 1914 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of a geologist who started a small oil business and became a wildcatter. As a child Martin enjoyed magic tricks and playing chess. After graduating from high school in 1932, he earned a bachelor's degree in Philosophy at the University of Chicago, having also studied history, literature and the sciences under the intellectually-stimulating Great Books curriculum.
Although brought up a devout Methodist, he lost his Christian faith as a result of his wide reading, a transition he covered in a semi-autobiographical novel The Flight of Peter Fromm (1973).
In 1937 Gardner returned to Oklahoma, taking a reporter's job on the Tulsa Tribune, and after a spell in public relations back at the University of Chicago, in 1942 joined the US Naval Reserve as a yeoman in the destroyer escort USS Pope. On night watch, he dreamed up plots for stories, which he sold to Esquire magazine. After the war he became a freelance writer, and in the 1950s wrote features for Humpty Dumpty's Magazine and other children's periodicals.
In 1956 he sold an article to Scientific American magazine and followed this up with an essay about hexaflexagons – hexagons made from strips of paper that show different faces when flexed in different ways. This so impressed the publisher that Gardner was invited to produce a regular column along similar lines. Since he had not studied mathematics after high school, Gardner plundered second-hand bookshops in Manhattan to find enough material to sustain his "Mathematical Games" column. In the event it ran for 25 years and earned Gardner the American Mathematical Society's prize for mathematical exposition.
His lack of scholarly expertise meant that instead of relying on academic jargon, Gardner packed his prose with cross-cultural references, jokes and anecdotes, giving the column the broadest-possible appeal. He introduced his readers to riddles, paradoxes, enigmas and even magic tricks, as well as concepts such as fractals and Chinese tangram puzzles, redefining the concept of "recreational mathematics".
Gardner also became known as a sceptic of the paranormal, and wrote works debunking public figures such as the psychic Uri Geller, who gained fame for claiming to bend spoons with his mind. In his first book Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (1952), Gardner exposed such quackery as flat-earth cults, alien abductions and a belief in UFOs. The book has since become a classic; the novelist Kingsley Amis, an early fan, regretted not stealing a copy when he had had the chance.
In 1976, with Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and others, Gardner co-founded the Committee for the Scientific Evaluation of Claims of the Paranormal, and wrote regularly for its magazine, the Skeptical Inquirer. Its most recent issue includes a feature he wrote on Oprah Winfrey's New Age interests.
In more than 70 books, Gardner produced lay guides to Einstein's Theory of Relativity; ambidexterity and physical symmetry; the bath plug vortex (the phenomenon by which bathwater in the northern hemisphere drains in an anticlockwise direction and clockwise in the southern hemisphere); and even the concept of God. He also published fiction, poetry and literary and film criticism as well as puzzle books.
In The Numerology of Dr Matrix (1967) Gardner investigated links between numerals and the occult, asking (for example) what is special about the number 8,549,176,320? (A: It is the 10 natural integers arranged in the order of the English alphabet.)
His many admirers instituted a regular convention of Gardner followers, known as "Gatherings for Gardner" (G4G), which attracted magicians, puzzle fans and mathematicians from all over the world.
Although Gardner attended these as guest of honour, as a matter of course he avoided conferences, meetings and parties, and despite his facility as a polymath never owned a computer or used email. He preferred to work standing up, and, while magic and conjuring tricks remained his principal hobby, was also an accomplished exponent of the musical saw.
Martin Gardner married, in 1952, Charlotte Greenwald, who predeceased him in 2000. Their two sons survive him.
(The Telegraph: Martin Gardner, 7:14PM BST 25 May 2010)
Disambiguation notice
Martin F. Gardner, the author of Threatened Plants of Central and South Chile, is a different author.



What a disappointment.

I've adored Martin Gardner since I first picked up "The Annotated Alice", and he was a one-of-a-kind historian, raconteur, critic, and general pioneer of common sense and rational thinking. I was also amazed, given he was very old at the time of writing this book, to think that he had it in him.

Instead, what I soon learned was that this book was clearly put together from essays, reviews, articles, and other miscellanea previously written. Which is fine, in and of itself. Malcolm Gladwell does the same thing. However in this case, most of these articles just don't work in this context.

Take, for instance, his chapter on the possibilities of extinction by meteor -- it falls off into a film critique of two Hollywood blockbusters! And not even a critique of the science, just of his dislike for the films in general! These may have worked in a weekly newspaper column or some such, but don't have the coherence and sting to be a major chapter in a book. By a similar notion, some of the articles that debunk or analyse heavy physics do so without providing enough information to the layman. Evidently they were first written for scientific magazines that catered to a more niche crowd.

Some chapters, even worse, don't "debunk" at all, as the title claims. Gardner just explains the issue at heart, and then maybe gives a brief precis of why people do it. His chapter on cult suicides is admittedly a tough example, since explaining that kind of situation is a complex debate. However, Gardner neither explains nor debunks. He effectively just recounts what happens, without looking at the science or psychology of cult worship and leadership, nor really debunking (beyond the obvious "it's ridiculous) the theories those people held.

I won't hold this against the memory of the late Mr. Gardner, since he was a remarkable man. But this book shouldn't have seen the light of day.
… (more)
therebelprince | 5 other reviews | Apr 21, 2024 |
Gardner was always interesting for the way he explained concepts.
mykl-s | 3 other reviews | Aug 9, 2023 |



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