A thought-provoking and now generally overlooked contribution to magic literature, Higher Magic offers an extensive analysis of how magicians can elevate their performances to the status of art. The book’s author, Oscar Teale, was the fourth president of the S.A.M. and a confidant of Harry Houdini.
Teale begins his five-hundred-page study by surveying nineteenth-century magic publications, before outlining key elements of magical beliefs and practices throughout history. He goes on to share what he believes are the essential features of artistically engaging magic performances, offering comprehensive explanations of a number of stage effects and techniques — both his own and those of his contemporaries — to support his arguments, concluding with an autobiographical portrait and an overview of his involvement with the S.A.M.