Houdini!!!: The Career of Ehrich Weiss

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HarperPerennial, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 465 pages
2 Reviews
In the most comprehensive biography written about the great illusionist yet, author Ken Silverman, who has won both a Pulitzer and a Bancroft prize, draws on never-before-used scrapbooks, personal diaries, court transcripts and hundreds of unpublished notes and letters collected from around the world to reveal a far richer, more personal view of Houdini than ever before. While Silverman focuses on the magic and miraculous escapes that made Houdini a legend and the most celebrated, highest-paid performer of his day, he also delves deeply into Houdini's fascinating personal life. He explores Houdini's many friendships with politicians and celebrities like Jack Dempsey, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, Jack London, the Astors and others. He looks into his traumatic encounters with anti-Semitism; his close-knit family; his strange and troubled relationship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; and his bitter war against spiritualism. He also uncovers new revelations about Houdini's secret affair with the widow of a famous American writer.

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HOUDINI!!!: The Career of Ehrich Weiss

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Silverman's dense account documents the famous magician's lifelong quest to ensure his reputation—and his metamorphosis from Budapest-born Ehrich Weiss into Harry Houdini, the greatest illusionist of ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PghDragonMan - LibraryThing

One of the blurbs on the jacket for Houdini: The Career of Ehrich Weiss says this is “Destined to be the definitive Houdini biography”. If this is true, I certainly hope the others are better written ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

A specialist in American culture and literature, Silverman received a Pulitzer Prize in biography and a Bancroft Prize in American history, both in 1985, for The Life and Times of Cotton Mather (1984). His most recent biography is a psychological portrait of Edgar Allan Poe. Critics have consistently noted Silverman's masterful range and his skill at presenting his figures as complex human beings of great depth.

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