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Chronicles the life and career of the legendary Harry Houdini Silverman's engaging biography catalogs the life of Harry Houdini, born Ehrich Weiss, who made a career out of his capacity to amaze. Having developed conjuring skills and an ability to wriggle free of handcuffs, ropes and manacles, Houdini elaborated his tricks into theatrical set pieces that made him famous--stunts like escaping from a strait jacket while dangling head down from a skyscraper, or from a wooden packing crate submerged in water. Silverman's meticulously researched book reveals other sides to the great illusionist too. Houdini collected a library of books on magic, wrote books himself, exposed shyster psychics whose tricks he could easily match, and was a friend to Jack London, Sarah Bernhardt and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.