The Last Greatest Magician in the World: Howard Thurston Versus Houdini & the Battles of the American Wizards


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Publish Date
5.9 X 1.0 X 8.9 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

JIM STEINMEYER is one of today's most renowned historians of stage magic. He is the critically acclaimed author of The Glorious Deception, Charles Fort, and Hiding the Elephant, a Los Angeles Times bestseller. He lives in Los Angeles.


"There is no greater expert on the history of stage magicians than Jim Steinmeyer. His deep knowledge of the subject, combined with a remarkable mastery of magical know-how, makes this book a smart, fantastic read. I can't recommend it enough!"

--Neil Patrick Harris

"Steinmeyer produces an engaging full-length biography of the man Orson Welles called 'the master'...Steinmeyer recovers, from the shadows of his greatest rival, a figure whose grandiose productions were an American institution for almost 30 years."

--Publishers Weekly

"Few historians of magic are as qualified as Jim Steinmeyer to bring Howard Thurston back onstage. The Last Greatest Magician in the World vividly conjures up Thurston's troubled life and great illusions."
--The Wall Street Journal

"Magician and author Jim Steinmeyer rescues a forgotten American icon from Houdini's shadow."
--AARP: The Magazine

"Thurston may have been forgotten, but The Last Greatest Magician In The World ably resurrects his legend and his awe-inspiring magic."
--The Onion A.V. Club

"An erudite, challenging text full of difficult questions"
--Kirkus Reviews

"Jim Steinmeyer knows the outside-in world of magic from the inside; he is a celebrated 'invisible man' - inventor, designer and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians of the last quarter-century... Steinmeyer writes about events a century ago as vividly as if he had been there; and in a sense, he has been... No author has ever better conveyed the way the love of conjuring consumes a magician's life with magic's joys, terrors and longings."
--Teller (of Penn and Teller), The New York Times Book Review

"Steinmeyer's combination of enthusiasm and erudition is a joy."
--Neil Gaiman