Hiding The Elephant (verry nice) free ebook download
2/15/2011 11:01:21 PM
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Djvu | 391 Pages | 7 MB Harry Houdini was the greatest escape artist in history, yet known to his contemporaries as a terrible stage magician. Nevertheless, in 1918 he performed a single illusion that has been hotly debated ever since: Under the bright lights at New York’s Hippodrome Theater, he made a live elephant disappear. Where did he learn this amazing trick and how did it work? The astonishing answers lie in magic expert Jim Steinmeyer’s chronicle of over half a century of illusionary innovation, backstage chicanery and espionage, elevated showmanship, and keen competition within the world of magicians. Steinmeyer has penned the cultural history of magic during its "Golden Age" in America and abroad—the breathtaking race between legendary conjurers to make things materialize, levitate, and disappear. Steinmeyer unveils the secrets and life stories of the fascinating personalities behind optical marvels such as floating ghosts interacting with live actors, disembodied heads, and vanishing ladies. He demystifies such tricks as Pepper’s Ghost, The Sphinx of Colonel Joseph Stodare, Harry Kellar’s The Levitation of Princess Karnak, and Charles Morritt’s Disappearing Donkey—and with his brilliant descriptions, provides a front row seat to the most celebrated (and notorious) magic performances in history. The people and events surrounding each step toward The Vanishing Elephant reveal how simple principles—optics, lighting, and mechanics, all diagrammed in this book—mixed with ingenious psychology, can entertain, deceive, and even make us believe in miracles. HIDING THE ELEPHANT reveals Houdini’s mystery and more—the dramatic mix of science and history that is the backstage story of magic.
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