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The Truth About Uri Geller Paperback – September 1, 1982

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (September 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879751991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879751999
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,949 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Alexis S. Mendez on November 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
It is our weakness to blame the messenger. James Randi, a professional magician, extremely intelligent and honest writer, and an extremely cinical skeptic, is usually the target of "believers" of the paranormal (as you will notice on the "reviews" of his books). Clearly, it is hard to accept that at some time or another, our leg has been pulled, and Randi is the first to let you know, in the most blunt way possible.
This book is not really about demonstrating that Geller is a fraud. Randi simply demonstrate that all the paranormal feats of the famous psychic can be duplicated (Randi himself has done them in TV and personal appearances). That people decide to believe the most fantastical explanation is another different issue.
Another thing worth mentioning is that this book includes excerpts from articles from magazines and newspaper, which shows that Randi was not alone in his skepticism.
A final notice is that if you enjoy this book, you will find more information on "Flim-Flam!", by the same author. There he presents new information, including his meeting with one of Geller's helpers, who confesses to having participated in the tricks, sometimes throwing things for apparent "materializations".
But, if you feel comfortable with "wishful thinking", and don't want to be confronted with facts and more credible alternate explanations, then don't try Randi.
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53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By N Bennett on May 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Personally I found this book very interesting and it's also interesting to read through all the reviews here also. I am amazed at the number of people who willingly believe in such phenomenon as spoon-bending or ESP despite the fact that evidence to the contrary might exist! Can't you have an open mind either way? (I admit now that I lean towards skepticism - but I am always willing to listen to both sides providing accurate evidence exists.)
I also find it preposterous that so many people think that Randi is jealous of Geller or anything like that. If you've read this book and have that attitude then you've missed one of the key points of the book completely. Randi doesn't object to Geller's tricks - just his attitude in doing them. Magicians do tricks - and admit that they're tricks even if they don't reveal exactly how they're done. But when a man like Geller performs tricks, claims they're genuine and in doing this, deceives right-minded and otherwise right-thinking people, then this gives cause for concern. By all means, Geller can be (and is!) a showman - but there's no need to lie to people in that manner. That helps nobody and that is all Randi really objects to.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Drew Heywood on February 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Skepticism, it seems to me, should be at the core of every intelligent person's thinking processes. The history of mankind illustrates quite clearly that the world is full of frauds who will promise anything that will part people from their money, or reel them into a destructive belief system. That is how cults come to be. Scepticism is our only defense in such a world.

Unfortunately, many, and it often seems, most, people are so hungry for "meaning" that they put their critical thinking processes on hold. They forget that they are taking things on faith and come to feel that they are believing in bedrock truth.

That's where science comes in. Science provides the rigor that helps prevent us from succumbing to frauds and even our own delusions. It exposes Korean doctors who have made extraordinary claims about genetic research. And it exposes frauds who claim psychic abilities but can only deliver them when they aren't under scrutiny.

I'd like to remind you of a couple scientific principles.

First: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If I claim to do something psychically that thousands of magicians can do through sleight of hand, I should be expected to prove it.

Second: Occam's razor, one of the oldest principles in science, which states that in the presence of alternative explanations for a phenomenon, give preference to the simplest. It's simpler to believe that if a magician can do the trick, rather than requiring psychic powers. This isn't an infallible rule. Einstein isn't simpler than Newton. But Einstein has been subjected to rigorous testing, and Einstein explains things Newton doesn't. Uri Geller can make no such claims.

It's telling that not a single replicated scientific study has entered the literature.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
...promotes magical thinking. And Randi is not in need of work ...he has a thriving second career helping people understand how to keep from being flummoxed - which in this day and age is sorely needed. This is vintage skepticism, by a crack charlatan himself (I mean that in a good way). I have hosted a live TV appearance by Randi, and he has made my jaw drop from some of the very same things Geller claims are done by psychic powers. My wonder is in the ability of some to manipulate the perceptions of others. The difference is that James is trying to draw a line which people can use to distinguish the truly marvelous from the merely farcical. Uri should aspire to so much. If he has such powers as he claims - why would he squander them on the wanton destruction of flatware? On it goes, to others' claims of increased crop yields, to telepathy (so go make a fortune at the poker table!)... I would be deliriously happy to find someone who could read my students' minds - it would shave YEARS off the education process alone <grin>. But alas, we are left with wholly unremarkable examples of allegedly earth-shattering powers. And it makes people think that magic will change or save them. It is magical thinking that degrades individuals' trust in their own true abilities, and it was magical thinking (unabashed finger-crossing) that killed seven brave astronauts in 1986. Enough is enough, Bravo Randi - and touche' Geller. Read it, then decide. *JP*
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