The Book of Secrets: Miracles Ancient and Modern, by Walter B. Gibson
Many people have heard of Walter B. Gibson — best known as the author of “The Shadow,” a prolific writer. What is less known is that he worked as a ghostwriter for Houdini, Howard Thurston, and Harry Blackstone Sr. He was a lifelong lover of the art of magic, an amateur magician and historian who was the first vice president of the Magician’s Guild of America. In The Book of Secrets he combines these interests, writing about famous magic illusions of the ancient world, as well as some more modern.
The Book of Secrets is quite readable, with a full-page black and white illustration for each one-page article. The last quarter of the book deals with simple magic tricks, but the bulk of the book deals with an introduction to the history of magic. It’s target audience is young magicians, and it does it’s job — introducing the reader to an overview of great magic tricks and magicians of the past — very well.
Table of Contents – The Book of Magic
- Ancient Miracles
- Mediaeval Mysteries
- Modern Miracles
- Oriental Magic
- Secrets of Stage Magic
- Fraudulent Psychic Phenomena
- Magic Made Easy
- Tricks with Cards