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The American Experience
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Interview Transcripts | Further Reading

Don Wilmeth, historian on

the traveling circus
popular entertainment in New York City
immigrants attending theater
the midway
Houdini’s showmanship
shackles of technology
the importance of the Press
the heyday of Houdini’s career
gaining legitimacy

James Randi, illusionist, on
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Houdini’s mother
Houdini’s father
the audience
The Mirror escape
multiple cuffs
the straightjacket escape
Houdini’s entrance
the Milk Can Escape
the Water Torture Cell
Houdini’s affair

Ken Silverman, biographer, on
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Houdini the provider
the death of Houdini’s mother
martin beck
the Chinese Torture Cell
Hilmar the Uncuffable
the police
Houdini’s wealth
Harry and Bess
pets instead of children
the master publicist
being the best
filming his escapes
anti-spiritualism crusade

E.L. Doctorow, writer, on:
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Houdini the stage performer
his boyish appeal
the element of horror
being a hero

Dorothy Young, Houdini’s assistant, on
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auditioning for Houdini
Harry and Bess
radio girl number
his most Prominent feature
Bess after his death
Houdini the scholar

David De-Val, illusionist, on
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the handcuff challenge
people’s theaters
the locks
the Hodgson challenge
audience involvement
Houdini’s strength

David Copperfield, magician, on
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Houdini’s lasting appeal
signing his belongings
the audience
keeping the secrets

Al Hirschfeld, illustrator, on
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meeting Houdini
Houdini as a performer

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