The John Booth Reader
Ben Robinson

The John Booth Reader

John Booth was a successful nightclub magician and an explorer and Unitarian minister and journalist and author. He first published work on magic in 1930 when he was 18. He went on to contribute hundreds of articles on magic in, for instance Linking Ring, Sphinx, Genii and Magicol. This book is a compendium of his work, a guide to his eclectic life and a guide to his books.

In this compendium of all of Dr. John Nicholls Booth’s (1912 - 2009) books the reader is treated to find information on many topics of interest written between 1929 and 2009 – 80 years! Ben Robinson and Dr. Booth worked on four books together from 1985 to 2009. Robinson indexed the first twenty-five years of Booth’s celebrated Memoirs (the index published in 1990). The John Booth Reader gives a wonderful insight into Booth’s multifaceted life of Unitarianism, preaching, stage and close-up magic, mountaineering, adventuring, filmmaking and travel to one hundred and forty six countries. The personalities involved from Sir Edmund Hillary to Gandhi’s assassin make appearances at some pivotal times in history. Booth was an international correspondent for The Chicago Sun-Times and The Boston Globe.

The information contained in his twenty books, and this guide to his books, are drawn from five one-hour interviews conducted on tape by Ben Robinson and over one hundred and eighty letters written over twenty five years. The John Booth Reader is a book about books. Not just dry pedantry, this is an insightful look into one of the most intriguing personalities of the 20th century who died peacefully in California at the age of ninety-seven on November 11, 2009. The John Booth Reader is being released one year to the day of Dr. Booth’s passing to honor the man who has been described as “writing more about the art of magic than any other writer.”


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