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The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini with Joe Posnanski

Date(s) - Thursday, December 12th
5:30 pm CST - 7:00 pm CST

Jewish Museum Milwaukee

Award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Joe Posnanski enters the world of Harry Houdini and his legions of devoted fans in an immersive, entertaining, and magical work on the illusionist’s impact on American culture—and why his legacy endures to this day.

Harry Houdini. Say his name and a number of things come to mind. Escapes. Illusions. Magic. Chains. Safes. Live burials. Close to a century after his death, nearly every person in America knows his name from a young age, capturing their imaginations with his death-defying stunts and daring acts. He inspired countless people, from all walks of life, to find something magical within themselves.

This is a book about a man and his extraordinary life, but it is also about the people who he has inspired in death. As Joe Posnanski delves into the deepest corners of Houdini-land, visiting museums (one owned by David Copperfield), attractions, and private archives, he encounters a cast of unforgettable and fascinating characters: a woman who runs away from home to chase her dream of becoming a magician; an Italian who revives Houdini’s most famous illusion every night; a performer at the Magic Castle in Los Angeles who calls himself Houdini’s Ghost; a young boy in Australia who, one day, sees an old poster and feels his life change; and a man in Los Angeles whose sole mission in life has been to keep the legend’s name alive.

Both a personal obsession and an odyssey of discovery, Posnanski draws inspiration from his lifelong passion for and obsession with magic, blending biography, memoir, and first-person reporting to examine Harry Houdini’s life and legacy. Join Posnanski on the ultimate journey to uncover why this magic man endures, and what he still has to teach the world about wonder.

Walk-ins Welcome

Museum Members $6 | Nonmembers $9
Program admission includes admission into the Museum and
one complimentary Broken Wand Cocktail*

The lecture will be followed immediately by a book signing and sale.
*Broken Wand Cocktail is a magic color changing cocktail created specifically for Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini by Central Standard Craft Distillery.

About Joe Posnanski
Joe Posnanski is the author of four books including the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Paterno. In a 30-year career as a sportswriter for Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports, Major League Baseball and the Kansas City Star among other publications, he was named National Sportswriter of the Year by five different organizations and has won two Emmy Awards. He has been anthologized widely. Joe lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife Margo, daughters Elizabeth and Katie, and poodle Westley.

Offered in connection with Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini, an exhibit on display at the Jewish Museum Milwaukee, September 26, 2019 – January 5, 2020.

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