Posted 4 years ago
This book i found at the goodwill outlet three years ago and found it most interesting it is a first addition and i have read it so many times -- how lucky was my day to purchase for $2 -- the following is information on Houdini is as follows:
Harry Houdini (1874- 1926) - the great Houdini is a name that will forever define the term "escape artist." As the Budapest-born, American-bred performer would so often proclaim, "no person can hold me; no hand or leg irons or steel locks can shackle me. No ropes or chains can keep me from my freedom." Houdini sometimes claimed his birthplace was Appleton, Wisconsin... Houdini chose his stage name as a tribute to French Illusionist Jean Eugene Robert-Houdini... Houdini was known for debunking spiritualists, and once offered a reward to anyone who could produce a "psychical manifestation" which Houdini could not reproduce by natural means..
The son of a rabbi who emigrated from Hungary to the U. S. and settled in Wisconsin, he became a trapeze performer at an early age. In 1882 he moved to New York City, where he played vaudeville shows without much success. From about 1900 he earned an international reputation for his daring feats of escape from locked boxes, often submerged, while shackled in chains and handcuffed. His success depended on his great strength and agility and his unusual skill in manipulating locks. He exhibited his abilities in several films (1916-23). In his later years he campaigned against magicians and mind readers who claimed supernatural powers, including Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdini, from whom Houdini had taken his name.
Harry Houdini was the most influential magician of the 20th century. His specialty was escapes; slipping out of ropes, chains and handcuffs while locked in trunks and milk cans or submerged underwater. (He once jumped into The San Francisco Bay while handcuffed and shackled to a ball and chain.) In an era before TV, Houdini became world famous by brainstorming across America and around the globe. His skills and showmanship made the single name "Houdini" synonymous with entertaining magic; he is often credited with influencing later magicians from David Copperfield to David Blaine.
Houdini chronicled his debunking exploits in his book, A Miracle Among The Spirits. These activities cost Houdini the friendship of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Conan Doyle, a firm believer in Spiritualism during his later years, refused to believe any of Houdini's expose's. Conan Doyle came to believe that Houdini was a powerful spiritualist medium and had performed many of his stunts by means of paranormal abilities and was using these abilities to block those of other mediums that he was 'debunking'. This disagreement led to the two men becoming public antagonist.