The Secret Life of Houdini

The Making of America's First Superhero

The Secret Life of Houdini

Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar.

Since his death eighty-eight years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy.

The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame—his legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 604 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743298506 | 
  • October 2006

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Posted by Sam McNerney

Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-ConformityandThe $100 Startup) is a writer, entrepreneur, and traveler. His new book (out today) isThe Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose To Your Life.For the book, Guillebeautraveled...

About the Authors

William Kalush
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William Kalush

William Kalush has been a dedicated student of the art of magic for more than twenty-five years. Founder of the Conjuring Arts Research Center and publisher of Gibecière, an esteemed magic history journal, he has helped create several world-famous magic stunts and prime-time network television specials.

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Larry Sloman
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Larry Sloman

Larry “Ratso” Sloman is best known as Howard Stern’s collaborator on what were then the two fastest selling books in publishing history, Private Parts and Miss America. Sloman’s recent collaborations include Mysterious Stranger, with magician David Blaine, and Scar Tissue, the memoir of Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis—both books were New York Times bestsellers.

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