The Mask of Nostradamus

James Randi, Author Scribner Book Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-19056-3
In this breezy but effective biographical study, magician and self-appointed debunker Randi takes aim at Michel de Notredame, better known as Nostradamus, the famous 16th-century French physician, astrologer and seer. Commentators claim that Nostradamus's cryptic verses accurately prophesied such events and personalities as Napoleon, Hitler, the French Revolution, the Great Fire of London and the invention of the Montgolfier balloon. Nonsense, argues Randi, and his meticulous readings of key quatrains make a potent case for his contention that the seer's alleged clairvoyant abilities rest on translators' embellishments, interpreters' excessive reliance on anagrams and ``hidden'' names, distortions and wishful thinking. Despite its overkill in challenging all prophecy and the occult in general, this hard-hitting critique throws down a gauntlet that no one with a serious interest in Nostradamus can ignore. Photos not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1990
Release date: 08/01/1990
Paperback - 265 pages - 978-0-87975-830-1
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