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Mathematics, Magic and Mystery Paperback – 17 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: www.bnpublishing.com (17 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607964090
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607964094
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 738,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

About the Author

Martin Gardner was a renowned author who published over 70 books on subjects from science and math to poetry and religion. He also had a lifelong passion for magic tricks and puzzles. Well known for his mathematical games column in Scientific American and his "Trick of the Month" in Physics Teacher magazine, Gardner attracted a loyal following with his intelligence, wit, and imagination. Martin Gardner: A Remembrance The worldwide mathematical community was saddened by the death of Martin Gardner on May 22, 2010. Martin was 95 years old when he died, and had written 70 or 80 books during his long lifetime as an author. Martin's first Dover books were published in 1956 and 1957: Mathematics, Magic and Mystery, one of the first popular books on the intellectual excitement of mathematics to reach a wide audience, and Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, certainly one of the first popular books to cast a devastatingly skeptical eye on the claims of pseudoscience and the many guises in which the modern world has given rise to it. Both of these pioneering books are still in print with Dover today along with more than a dozen other titles of Martin's books. They run the gamut from his elementary Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing, which has been enjoyed by generations of younger readers since the 1980s, to the more demanding The New Ambidextrous Universe: Symmetry and Asymmetry from Mirror Reflections to Superstrings, which Dover published in its final revised form in 2005. To those of us who have been associated with Dover for a long time, however, Martin was more than an author, albeit a remarkably popular and successful one. As a member of the small group of long-time advisors and consultants, which included NYU's Morris Kline in mathematics, Harvard's I. Bernard Cohen in the history of science, and MIT's J. P. Den Hartog in engineering, Martin's advice and editorial suggestions in the formative 1950s helped to define the Dover publishing program and give it the point of view which — despite many changes, new directions, and the consequences of evolution — continues to be operative today. In the Author's Own Words: "Politicians, real-estate agents, used-car salesmen, and advertising copy-writers are expected to stretch facts in self-serving directions, but scientists who falsify their results are regarded by their peers as committing an inexcusable crime. Yet the sad fact is that the history of science swarms with cases of outright fakery and instances of scientists who unconsciously distorted their work by seeing it through lenses of passionately held beliefs." "A surprising proportion of mathematicians are accomplished musicians. Is it because music and mathematics share patterns that are beautiful?" — Martin Gardner --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Mr. O. De Sequeira Nazareth on 5 Aug. 2003
Format: Paperback
As with many Dover titles, this is an interesting, if niche, book.
As someone interested in both mathematics and magic, I found this book really cool. Though written quite some time ago, the book is still immensely readable and allows you to practise 'mathemagic' - i.e. magic tricks based on mathematics - straight away.
The advantage of this branch of magic is that no gimmicks or special ability are required 99% of the time - the tricks are self-working and allow you to focus on the acting side of magic rather than on mechanics.
This book is divided according to the maths field covered rather than type of trick, which can leave magicians a little confused. However, it ignores maths theory and lauches straight into the tricks.
Subjects range from topology (i.e. shapes, ropes etc) to pure numbers; within each section, you can find many types of trick, grouped together by type within the chapter.
Some of the tricks are not that effective and are more of a curiosity than anything else. They demonstrate a mathematical point really well, but aren't entertaining enough to perform.
Others, like the mind-reading trick in the Pure Numbers section, are awesome and can blow any audience away!
It really depends on how much into magic (or maths) you are; this book reaches for the middle ground and has a lot to appeal to either side:
Mathematicians will find interesting challenges - trying to figure out the maths behind the trick is fun, and seeing a simple theorem put to practise is really rewarding;
Magicians will find 'clean', little-known tricks which are real gems for entertainment value alone, and can often be practised from any angle and thoroughly examined because there's no gimmick.
If you like either or both fields, you're in for a treat!
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Format: Paperback
Although Martin Gardner was a well-known math problem compiler, this book is not up to his usual standard of interest!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ian potts on 23 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's a Martin Gardner book. What more do you need to know? The man's a legend. All his stuff is entertaining.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
One of the most fantastic books on close-up magic. 14 Mar. 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is very nice. It teaches you how to do magic with any houshold items. There are 2 chapters with cards too. NONE of the tricks described here use any sort of slight of hand. It is 100% mathematical tricks than ANYONE can do. And they are all nice cloe-up tricks which are the type of tricks which are most baffling. Martin Garder, the author of this book is a very talented writer. He wrote many books on mathematics and science. This is a great book and I recomend EVERYONE should get it even if they are not into magic that much.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Gardner weaves his verbal magic in explaining how some common magic is done 4 July 2008
By Charles Ashbacher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The reason why we use the phrases "magic trick" and "card trick" is because we know that there is no such thing as magic. The magician is executing a very specific algorithm that leads from the starting point to the desired conclusion. In this book, Gardner explains some of the algorithms in areas such as card tricks, mental magic and other common feats of legerdemain.
The titles of the chapters are:

*) Tricks with cards part I
*) Tricks with cards part II
*) From Gergonne to Gargantua - more tricks with cards
*) Magic with common objects - the objects are items such as dice and dominoes
*) Topological tomfoolery - tricks with items such as ropes, handkerchiefs and vests
*) Tricks with special equipment
*) Geometrical vanishes part I
*) Geometrical vanishes part II
*) Magic with pure numbers - rapid computation or number guessing tricks

Some people don't want to know how things are done because it spoils the fun for them. Since Gardner explains all of the tricks in complete detail, if you read this book then you will know how to do them yourself. Therefore, you should only pick it up if you can handle the knowledge of how these tricks are performed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A great history of all the Greats in Magical Math. 27 Dec. 2012
By Jeff Martin Jeff l Martin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a lot of information, well presented, in a compact source. As a pro magician & an educational assembly performer, I can use this as a quick source for material to use in my shows.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Classic 22 Feb. 2014
By Bruce Torrence - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're new to Gardner's mathematical writing, this is a great place to start. The theme for Mathematics Awareness Month 2014 is taken from this book (visit mathaware.org to see the result), and fun as that site is to explore this book really has it all. Gardner has a clear, inviting style that is disarming in its directness. Yet he takes you almost immediately to strange and wonderful places that truly show off the beauty of abstract mathematical ideas. What a ride. I've had a ball rediscovering this classic book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great book 15 Jan. 2014
By Rachlu91 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 12 year old who loves math and science cannot get enough of these books. I highly recommend this author.
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