The Secret Art of Magic is comprised of two sections, essentially two books: Street Magic & The Art of War and The Secret Art of Dispersion. Separate, yet inextricably linked by the paradigm of ancient war strategy.
Street Magic & The Art of War uses strategies from Sun Tzu's The Art of War to teach the intricacies of street magic-from trick selection, to the pitch, to stopping people, to handling hecklers, to building a crowd, to collecting the hat. Its most profound lessons, however, deal with controlling yourself and your audience-the most critical thing for all performers.
Though Street Magic and The Art of War is already being called "THE textbook" for street magic, ultimately the most important-and largest at 170pp-section of the book is The Secret Art of Dispersion. It provides a framework to understand, assimilate, and implement deception as never before.
Using an ancient Chinese manuscript of 36 strategies for deception in warfare, The Secret Art of Dispersion teaches a new and expanded approach to misdirection-dispersion. Based on the military concept of dispersing concentration, it not only encompasses the concept of directing/misdirecting attention, but unifies all the ways magicians control their audience's awareness-not just of what they see, but of what they think about (and conversely, and perhaps more importantly, what they don't think about). While misdirection is usually thought of as a tool just for sleight of hand or manipulation, The Secret Art of Dispersion uses a plethora of examples to show the applications of dispersion with apparatus, illusions, stand-up, doves, mentalism, and children's magic as well.
Pages 288 - Hard Bound