Houdini: The Elusive American

Houdini: The Elusive American

Audio CD(Unabridged)

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From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, an exuberant biography of the world's greatest escape artist.

In 1916, the war in Europe having prevented a tour abroad, Harry Houdini wrote a film treatment for a rollicking motion picture. Though the movie was never made, its title, "The Marvelous Adventures of Houdini: The Justly Celebrated Elusive American," provides a succinct summary of the Master Mystifier's life.

Born Erik Weisz in Budapest in 1874, Houdini grew up an impoverished Jewish immigrant in the Midwest and became world-famous thanks to talent, industry, and ferocious determination. He concealed as a matter of temperament and professional ethics the secrets of his sensational success. Nobody knows how Houdini performed some of his dazzling, death-defying tricks, and nobody knows, finally, why he felt compelled to punish and imprison himself over and over again. Tracking the restless Houdini's wide-ranging exploits, acclaimed biographer Adam Begley tells the story of a mystifying man's astonishing career.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781705207468
Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Publication date: 03/17/2020
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 5.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Adam Begley is the author of Updike and The Great Nadar. He was a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography, and for many years the books editor of the New York Observer.

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Chinese Water Torture Cell 1

1 A Father's Legacy 4

2 From Dime Museums to Vaudeville 15

3 The Handcuff King Conquers Europe 42

4 Return of the Hero 64

5 Aloft Down Under 84

6 The Great Dissolution 92

7 Making Movies 113

8 Among the Spirits 131

9 Sucker Punch 173

10 Ever After 184

A Note on Sources 195

List of Illustrations 199

Acknowledgments 201

Index 203

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