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The Mask of Nostradamus: The Prophecies of the World's Most Famous Seer Paperback – March 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (March 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879758309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879758301
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,420,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Randi (born Randall James Hamilton Zwinge; August 7, 1928) is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Randi began his career as a magician, as The Amazing Randi, but after retiring at age 60, he began investigating paranormal, occult, and supernatural claims, which he collectively calls "woo-woo." Although often referred to as a "debunker," Randi rejects that title owing to its perceived bias, instead describing himself as an "investigator." He has written about the paranormal, skepticism, and the history of magic. He was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and was occasionally featured on the television program Penn & Teller: Bullshit!.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The book is very well written, always fun to read, always engaging.
Marius
It is so refreshing to read a book on Nostradamus that actually employs the use of facts and thorough research.
Mike R Jordan
His research is by far more extensive than any ever done by Nostradamus believers.
"kingsransom"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By "kingsransom" on September 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Michel Nostradamus is without a doubt the most famous prophet and astrologer in all of history. He is credited with the predictions of the death of Henry II, the invention of the hot-air balloon, the Great Fire of London, the flight and capture of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, the execution of Charles I of England, Napoleon Bonaparte and the imprisonment of the Popes, the rise of Adolf Hitler and the life and death of Elizabeth I, among other things.
The author has done a enormous amount of research, viewing and translating of the original editions of the prophecies. His research is by far more extensive than any ever done by Nostradamus believers.
The author has sorted out fraudulent editions of Nostradamus' writings with changes and predictions added long after his death. He has also uncovered many errors in various books regarding Nostradamus and his visions of the future.
In this book, we see that Nostradamus' prophecies were normally so cleverly vague (in the spirit of most prophecies, through all of history) that almost any event could be said to have been predicted by him. Some of his more specific prophecies were actually done after the predicted event, or else never came true. Several famous prophecies were modified, or made up, by other people, long after Nostradamus had died.
This book should be read by Nostradamus believers and skeptics alike.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
Think you know Nostradamus? Think again. A great deal of research went into writing this book, and it shows. Randi provides an exhaustive history of Nostradamus (and his time) as both a healer and a prophet. Randi informs readers how astrology and magic influenced royalty and peasants alike during Nostradamus' time. Randi provides his own interpretations of the 10 most famous quatrains, and see how other "expert" interpreters wildly alter the meaning to fit major events. Don't buy any other Nostradamus book until you've read this one. It's a real eye opener.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book first about 2 years ago. Frankly Randi didnt seem to spend enough time discussing the subject of the book,Nostaradamus. He discusses astrology in great detail which is interesting at first but eventually becomes tiresome. The book would have a better read if more focus was on debunking nostradamus. The time spent explaining why people have interpreted his quatrains incorrectly is very interesting though. And the stories about Nostradamus and the predictions he provided for individuals of his day were particularly fascinating and really seemed to smash the image most people currently hold of him. Overall its a good book, clearly Mr. Randi did loads of research here. He provides an impressive amount of historical evidence to backup his claims, that's why so many people who review his books at amazon attack him personally, rather than his writings.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Ales Soudek on November 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
Randi proves to me once again what a true sceptic is. Instead of just believing common folklore Randi does research on the times and the area where Nostradamus lived, about Nostradamus's life during those times including correspondence he had with his clients, and then goes about showing what the most likely meaning of some of the most famous quatrains really are refering to. The truth is illuminating and it put to rest questions I've had about Nostradamus. A fascinating read.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mike R Jordan on February 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
It is so refreshing to read a book on Nostradamus that actually employs the use of facts and thorough research. I applaud James Randi on his work in presenting an accurate picture of the life and times of the famous prophet. And the authors admiration for Nostradamus shows in the work. This is not an attack on the prophet - indeed, Randi praises his work as a doctor curing the plague - but rather an attack on the later interpreters of his work that, so obviously, embellished their translations to further their own views.

But throughout the book is the sad truth that none of the facts or accurate translations will mean anything to "true believers." All of Randi's research and study is tossed out on a whim by anyone who believes in the prophet, because they don't require facts or logic for their beliefs. I wish that this book would be read by Nostradamians and serve as an eye-opener to the truth.....But I just don't see it happening.

And why is is that believers never offer accurate predictions based on his work until AFTER the event has already occurred?
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "zacharym87" on January 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book, more than anything else, is the reason I'm a skeptic. When I read this book in high school, I was still among that group of people commonly misabled as agnostics, who don't really accept supernatural/religous/paranormal reports, but for fear of social stigma or lack of information (usually some of both), can't bring themselves to outright rejection of said reports. Mr. Randi's book brought me off the fence and converted me to dyed-in-the-wool skepticism. One by one, the "prophecies" of Nostradamus are reviewed, showing their vagueness and applicability to more or less anything. He then demonstrates how Nostradamus's supporters claim success by carefully selecting and interpreting the seer's words. Also includes background on the life and times of Nostradamus. Should be required reading for anyone who still believes in prophecy.
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