Tomorrow I will be gassing up the Humber and hitting the road for San Francisco to see Houdini Art and Magic at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and hear a lecture by the great Kenneth Silverman, author of Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss (still the best Houdini biography, IMO). Here are the details on Ken's talk from the CJM website:
Kenneth Silverman: Harry Houdini—Jewish Star of American History - Thursday, Dec 8 ∙ 6:30 – 8 PM.
Kenneth Silverman, Pulitzer-prize winning biographer and author of Houdini!!! The Career of Ehrich Weiss, discusses Houdini’s leadership in creating the Rabbis’ Sons Theatrical Benevolent Association, a group that included the most famous Jewish entertainers of the day. Silverman addresses how Houdini used his fame to combat anti-Semitism and comments on the significant legacy of Jews and magic in American history. Silverman, professor emeritus of English at New York University, has also published biographies on Cotton Mather, Edgar Allen Poe, and Samuel F.B. Morse. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has received the Bancroft Prize in American History, the Pulitzer Prize in for Biography, the Edgar Award of the Mystery Writers of America, and the Christopher Literary Award of the Society of American Magicians.
You can follow my adventures on the road via Twitter @HoudiniWild. I'll post a full report on my return.
UPDATE: Ken Silverman at the CJM: "Houdini was the first modern magician."