A Letter From The Publisher, Jul. 22, 1974

Back in Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y., more than three decades ago, a nine-year-old showman named Stefan Kanfer amazed his friends by producing coins and cards out of thin air. "It was the old up-the-sleeve trick," recalls Kanfer, now anchor man of TIME'S Essay section, "and the coins would generally clatter to the floor, to my embarrassment. As a magician, I had ten things working against me—my fingers." So the young Kanfer went to New York University and ended up writing advertising copy, gag lines for Victor Borge, short fiction, TV programs, a few...

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