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For over fifty years Martin Gardner has been writing witty, entertaining, and highly intelligent articles on an amazing range of topics. Best known for his works on popular science and mathematics, and as an incisive skeptical commentator on the paranormal, Gardner is also an accomplished writer of children's literature, a novelist, and essayist on religion and philosophy. This collection of essays and book reviews takes its name from the bookend articles, "The Wandering Jew and the Second Coming" and "The Faith of William Buckley," which in themselves demonstrate the extent of Gardner's interests.
Besides the legend of the Wandering Jew, its relation to the Second Coming, and Bill Buckley's religious convictions, Gardner also takes on the subjects of astrology, psychic surgery, word play in the stories of L. Frank Baum (author of The Wizard of Oz), and the history of a forgotten children's magazine. In addition, there are reviews of books by astronomer Carl Sagan, philosopher Paul Edwards, and science fiction writer H. G. Wells, along with commentary on mathematics, Lewis Carroll, chess, Christian Science, science fads, and more.
Longtime Gardner fans and intellectually curious newcomers will welcome this entertaining and literate collection by one of America's most brilliant essayists.
Posted June 26, 2012
This is typically great Gardner wit and analysis! The harpooning of inflated egos, the deft logical wordplay, and the appreciation of math and science are all here.
Unfortunately, so are a large collection of randomly used punctuation marks and downright odd spelling errors. Couldn't the e-publisher have used a spellchecker to avoid howlers like "Coffe57ville" and "Ma3on"? And a Mersenne prime without its exponent? - I mean r€?lly!
Posted June 26, 2010
No text was provided for this review.