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The Secret History of Magic

The True Story of the Deceptive Art
Narrated by: Rory Barnett
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

If you read a standard history of magic, you learn that it begins in ancient Egypt with the resurrection of a goose in front of the Pharaoh. You discover how magicians were tortured and killed during the age of witchcraft. You are told how conjuring tricks were used to quell rebellious colonial natives. The history of magic is full of such stories, which turn out not to be true. Behind the smoke and mirrors, however, lies the real story of magic.

It is a history of people from humble roots, who made and lost fortunes, and who deceived kings and queens. In order to survive, they concealed many secrets, yet they revealed some, and they stole others. They engaged in deception, exposure, and betrayal, in a quest to make the impossible happen. They managed to survive in a world in which a series of technological wonders appeared, which previous generations would have considered magical. Even today, when we now take the most sophisticated technology for granted, we can still be astonished by tricks that were performed hundreds of years ago.

The Secret History of Magic reveals how this was done. It is about why magic matters in a world that no longer seems to have a place for it, but which desperately needs a sense of wonder.

©2018 Peter Lamont and Jim Steinmeyer (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Ed
  • 2018-12-17

Interested Lesson in the History of Magic

A very good history of magic. It is a bit bias towards magicians but that doesn't get in the way. As noted by the author, a lot of focus is on European magicians. Excellent job addressing some of the myths.

Anyone interested in or casually interested in magic should get this audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Savage
  • 2019-01-06

Get used to hearing Rubber Oodan!

If you are a magician, its worthwhile listening.
Robert Houdin gets a litany of coverage.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful