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Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Princeton University Press 2013
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Description

The autobiography of the beloved writer who inspired a generation to study math and science

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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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/30/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781400847983
ASIN:
B00F0KZE88
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Martin Gardner. (2013). Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner. Princeton University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Martin Gardner. 2013. Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner. Princeton University Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Martin Gardner, Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner. Princeton University Press, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Martin Gardner. Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner. Princeton University Press, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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The autobiography of the beloved writer who inspired a generation to study math and science

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.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: -Colm Mulcahy, Math Horizons
      • content: "For all his fame, Gardner was a humble, generous man, always modest about his mathematical achievements. His humanity, humor, and sheer decency shine through every page. Reading this book is like chatting with him about his intellectually adventure-filled life for a whole weekend."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 19, 2013
        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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2013

        Gardner, who died in 2010, was best known for his "Mathematical Games" column in Scientific American, which ran for 25 years, but he was not a trained mathematician. He was a magazine writer who happened to have a fascination with puzzles and magic--and much more. His column and his popular books of science and recreational math puzzles led many readers to enjoy those topics more than they thought possible. Gardner is also well known for his writing as a skeptic (e.g., Science: Good, Bad and Bogus) debunking the claims of pseudoscience. Unfortunately, what he calls his "rambling autobiography," evidently finished before his death, spends little time addressing these portions of his life, focusing instead on his poetry and religious philosophy. Even so, these anecdotes could have told an intriguing story had they not been presented in such a disjointed manner that they never flow. Sadly missing are details of Gardner's life. While he never mentions when he was born and other usual details of an autobiography, he spends several pages trying to convince the reader that L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, etc.) was one of our greatest authors. VERDICT May disappoint all but the most avid Martin Gardner fans.--William Baer, Georgia Inst. of Technology Lib., Atlanta

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

The autobiography of the beloved writer who inspired a generation to study math and science

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...

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tableOfContents

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