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Abracadabra! is an insider's look at what goes on at a magic show, behind-the-scenes, and in the mind of the magician. Nathaniel Schiffman explains the principles of deception, exposing those innocent-seeming motions that conceal vital actions from onlookers; how the conjurer uses misdirection of space and time to mislead the audience; how silly and simple optical illusions can fool us, and what to look for during a magic show.
Also explored in detail is the world of off-stage magic. Some "magicians" use various techniques in life to deceive and influence you, yet these magicians don't boast of their magic talent, because they are advertisers, politicians, army commanders, spies, con artists, computer programmers, movie directors, faith healers, psychics, and others. These "magicians" work to make you buy their product, believe in their cause, and influence your thinking from the time you get up in the morning, until you go to bed at night.
This is not a "how to" book for aspiring magicians, but a layperson's guide to methods used to mislead or fool you. Lighthearted and informal, Abracadabra! will fascinate anyone interested in knowing how one person can control many. Included are hands-on experiments, magic tricks, and reader participation segments. You'll soon see that magicians don't just manipulate playing cards and animals; they manipulate you.
Posted May 21, 2002