Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner

    Foreword by
  • Persi Diaconis
    Afterword by
  • James Randi

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


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Sep 30, 2013
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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.

Awards and Recognition

  • One of American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Books for General Audiences and Young Adults 2014