Undiluted Hocus-Pocus

Undiluted Hocus-Pocus

The Autobiography of Martin Gardner

By Martin Gardner; Persi Diaconis; James Randi

Princeton University Press, Hardcover, 9780691159911, 288pp.

Publication Date: September 2013


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
For twenty-five years, Martin Gardner wrote 'Mathematical Games and Recreations', a monthly column for Scientific American magazine. These columns have inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to delve more deeply into the large world of mathematics. He also made significant contributions to magic, philosophy, debunking pseudoscience, and children's literature. He produced more than 60 books, including many best sellers, most of which are still in print, and wrote a regular column for the Skeptical Inquirer magazine from 1983 to 2002. His Annotated Alice has sold more than a million copies.