The Atlanta Science Tavern is pleased to sponsor Alex Stone as a featured author in our Science Track at this year's AJC Decatur Book Festival.
Alex will be introduced by Scott Lilienfeld, Professor of Psychology at Emory University, a nationally-recognized advocate of evidence-based clinical practice and a co-author of the book "50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology."
You do not have to RSVP to attend this event.
Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind
Magic has never been more popular—something the average person probably doesn’t even know since the magic community is fiercely insular and zealously private. But now, longtime aficionado Alex Stone pulls back the curtains and shares an eye-opening glimpse into this fascinating subculture in Fooling Houdini to deceive is the most prized attribute of all.
A thrillingly original blend of history, psychology, science, and memoir, Fooling Houdini is a funny, insightful account told from the author’s unique perspective as a journalist and a former physics graduate student. Stone’s determination to excel at magic’s highest levels quickly blossoms into an obsession as this self-professed “magicaholic” eagerly commits to training rigorously, learning hundreds of complicated techniques, and crafting a cutting-edge act. Delving deeper, Stone ponders the connections between magic and science as he probes the limits of consciousness, experiments on the mechanics of the brain, and explores the challenges of distinguishing reality from illusion.
Understanding the art of magic and its timeless appeal requires asking interesting questions about how the mind works—and sometimes doesn’t—including:
- Why do people take such pleasure in duping others?
- What are the psychological consequences of secrecy?
- How reliable are our memories?
- How do hustlers get inside people’s heads and run their games?
- Why do we tend to overestimate our powers of observation?
Ultimately he brings all of his findings together with a performance designed to nail a magician’s greatest feat: fooling other magicians—the Holy Grail of their collective calling.
Alex Stone has written for Harper’s, Discover, Science and The Wall Street Journal. He graduated from Harvard University and has a master’s degree in physics from Columbia University. He grew up in Wisconsin, Texas, and Spain. He currently lives in New York City.