Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind
Ever since his father bought him a magic kit at the venerable age of five, Alex Stone has seldom left home without a deck of cards and three Kennedy half dollars. Plunging headfirst into New York's underground magic scene, he discovered a fascinating cast of characters - from his gruff mentor, who held court in the back of a rundown pizza shop, to one of the world's greatest card cheats, who also happened to be blind - and perfected his craft.
Stone recounts his quest to join the ranks of master magicians in Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind, a book about the underground world of magic and its ties to psychology, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, gambling, and crime. As he navigates this quirky and occasionally hilarious subculture, he pulls back the curtain on a community shrouded in secrecy, fueled by obsession and brilliance, and organized around a single overriding need: to prove one's worth by deceiving others.
In his keynotes, Stone shares his unique insights into human nature, garnered from years of watching magicians manipulate our minds to create astonishing illusions. He uncovers startling revelations on the nature of perception and on how the mind works - and why, sometimes, it doesn't.
Alex Stone has written for The New York Times, Harper's, Discover, Science, The Wall Street Journal, and The Huffington Post. He graduated from Harvard University with a degree in English and has a master's in physics from Columbia University.