Earle J. Coleman
<p>An excellent and exhaustive expansion of Coleman's 20-page chapter in Volume 3 of the valuable "Handbook of American Popular Culture." . . . Contents include a preface, introduction, chapters on history of magic, principles and appreciation, manuals on performance, relation to the other arts, ' biographies, and appendixes of historical dates, periodicals, directories, research collections, and dealers. Chapters contain very thorough bibliographies and there are author and subject indexes. It is impossible to imagine a more thorough guide to magic. "Choice" <p>The work as a whole is an extremely valuable compilation of, and commentary on, nearly 1,000 titles dealing with magic, conjuring, and tricks that fool the eye. . . . [It is] a superb addition to any library's collection of books on the history, psychology, and techniques of magic. "Reference Books Bulletin" <p>This reference guide provides a comprehensive view of magic, focusing on its history, psychology, techniques, and aesthetics. The text is in the form of topical bibliographical essays with additional theoretical remarks expressing Coleman's personal philosophy of conjuring. The work begins with a description of outstanding histories of magic and goes on to elucidate some of the major bibliographic sources on the principles of psychology and showmanship which separate the master conjurer from the amateur. Subsequent chapters evaluate manuals on the execution of magic, including all categories from card magic to stage illusions and telepathy.