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This title in other editions

Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner

by

Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Informative, original, unexpected, and always charmingly written with his uniquely subtle sense of fun, this final autobiographical work of Martin Gardner, Undiluted Hocus-Pocus, sums up his own life and opinions, in the way that has become so familiar and inspirational to us from his well-known writings on puzzles, mathematics, philosophy, and the oddities of the world."--Roger Penrose, author of Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe

"Martin Gardner was the most learned man I have ever met. He wrote articles and books for mathematicians, magicians, and puzzle lovers, and he didn't even get quantum mechanics wrong! Now you can read how this amazing man came to be so amazing."--John Conway, John von Neumann Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Princeton University

"A curious read, reminiscent of Uriah Fuller's attempts to persuade the nonbelievers. I'm left wondering if Gardner's questions have now been answered--which to some readers will always be an intriguing paradox!"--attributed to Armand T. Ringer

"Martin is gone, but his depth and clarity will illuminate our world for a long time."--From the foreword by Persi Diaconis

"A huge intellect, a prolific author, and a caring, responsible citizen of the world."--From the afterword by James Randi

"Undiluted Hocus-Pocus is a book that every fan of Gardner will want to own."--Ron Graham, coauthor of Magical Mathematics

"Martin Gardner occupies a special place in twentieth-century mathematics. More than any other single individual, he inspired a generation of young people to study math. Years from now, people reading his books and marveling at the clarity of his expository style will want to know who he was. How better to satisfy that curiosity than by letting Gardner himself tell the story of his life?"--Barry Cipra, coauthor of What's Happening in the Mathematical Sciences

Review:

"Polymath Gardner — writer, amateur magician, religious philosopher, pseudoscience debunker, and mathematical hobbyist — gives readers a conversational look into his diverse life and interests outside the cultural mainstream, from religion, science fiction, and poetry to magic, chess, and learning to play the saw ('If anything is worth doing, it's worth doing badly'). After leading a 'double life' as an amateur magician and philosophy major at the University of Chicago, Gardner was determined to make a living as a writer. Along the way, he held a string of jobs, including a stint in the Navy during WWII, and eventually landed in New York City, where his 'Mathematical Games' column in Scientific American ran for more than 25 years — leading to friendships with cutting-edge mathematicians and scientists, as well as a vital secondary career debunking 'bad science.' Readers who only know Gardner for his math and science writing will be surprised at his focus on religion, and this autobiography demonstrates his passion to explain and understand the world around him." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Book News Annotation:

Debunker of pseudoscience, Gardner chronicles his life full of mathematics, science, and magic, fascinating friends and acquaintances, and his 25-year stint as a columnist for Scientific American. There are 21 chapters: Earliest memories; Lee School; Tulsa Central High, I; Central High, II; Hutchins and Adler; Richard McKeon; I lose my faith; Chicago, I; Chicago, II; I become a journalist; mother and dad; the Navy, I; the Navy, II; Esquire and Humpty; Scientific American; pseudoscience; math and magic friends; Charlotte; Bob and Betty; God; my philosophy. There are photographs. Annotation ©2015 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (protoview.com)

Synopsis:

Martin Gardner wrote the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American for twenty-five years and published more than seventy books on topics as diverse as magic, religion, and Alice in Wonderland. Gardner's illuminating autobiography is a candid self-portrait by the man evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould called our "single brightest beacon" for the defense of rationality and good science against mysticism and anti-intellectualism.

Gardner takes readers from his childhood in Oklahoma to his varied and wide-ranging professional pursuits. He shares colorful anecdotes about the many fascinating people he met and mentored, and voices strong opinions on the subjects that matter to him most, from his love of mathematics to his uncompromising stance against pseudoscience. For Gardner, our mathematically structured universe is undiluted hocus-pocus--a marvelous enigma, in other words.

Undiluted Hocus-Pocus offers a rare, intimate look at Gardner's life and work, and the experiences that shaped both.

About the Author

Martin Gardner (1914-2010) was an acclaimed popular mathematics and science writer whose broad interests encompassed such subjects as philosophy, religion, stage magic, and the writings of Lewis Carroll and G. K. Chesterton. His numerous books include The Annotated Alice, When You Were a Tadpole and I Was a Fish: And Other Speculations about This and That, and Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.

Table of Contents

Foreword: Magic, Mathematics, and Mysterians, by Persi Diaconis xi

Preface xxiii

Prologue: I Am a Mysterian xxv

1 Earliest Memories 1

2 Lee School 10

3 Tulsa Central High, I 21

4 Central High, II 28

5 Hutchins and Adler 40

6 Richard McKeon 47

7 I Lose My Faith 53

8 Chicago, I 62

9 Chicago, II 76

10 I Become a Journalist 88

11 Mother and Dad 98

12 The Navy, I 111

13 The Navy, II 119

PHOTO ESSAY follows page 124

14 Esquire and Humpty 125

15 Scientific American 134

16 Pseudoscience 150

17 Math and Magic Friends 160

18 Charlotte 173

19 Bob and Betty 185

20 God 191

21 My Philosophy 195

Afterword: My Most Elegant Friend . . . , by James Randi 209

Index 215

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691159911
Author:
Gardner, Martin
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Randi, James
Author:
Gardner, Martin, Environmentalist
Author:
Diaconis, Persi
Subject:
General Mathematics
Subject:
Mathematics - General
Subject:
Mathematics
Subject:
Popular science
Subject:
History of Science and Medicine, Philosophy of Science
Subject:
Biography-Scientists
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
20 halftones.
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691159911 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Polymath Gardner — writer, amateur magician, religious philosopher, pseudoscience debunker, and mathematical hobbyist — gives readers a conversational look into his diverse life and interests outside the cultural mainstream, from religion, science fiction, and poetry to magic, chess, and learning to play the saw ('If anything is worth doing, it's worth doing badly'). After leading a 'double life' as an amateur magician and philosophy major at the University of Chicago, Gardner was determined to make a living as a writer. Along the way, he held a string of jobs, including a stint in the Navy during WWII, and eventually landed in New York City, where his 'Mathematical Games' column in Scientific American ran for more than 25 years — leading to friendships with cutting-edge mathematicians and scientists, as well as a vital secondary career debunking 'bad science.' Readers who only know Gardner for his math and science writing will be surprised at his focus on religion, and this autobiography demonstrates his passion to explain and understand the world around him." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

Martin Gardner wrote the Mathematical Games column for Scientific American for twenty-five years and published more than seventy books on topics as diverse as magic, religion, and Alice in Wonderland. Gardner's illuminating autobiography is a candid self-portrait by the man evolutionary theorist Stephen Jay Gould called our "single brightest beacon" for the defense of rationality and good science against mysticism and anti-intellectualism.

Gardner takes readers from his childhood in Oklahoma to his varied and wide-ranging professional pursuits. He shares colorful anecdotes about the many fascinating people he met and mentored, and voices strong opinions on the subjects that matter to him most, from his love of mathematics to his uncompromising stance against pseudoscience. For Gardner, our mathematically structured universe is undiluted hocus-pocus--a marvelous enigma, in other words.

Undiluted Hocus-Pocus offers a rare, intimate look at Gardner's life and work, and the experiences that shaped both.

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