Steve Forte is the Erdnase of his generation.
Nah, we know
who Steve Forte is... ;)
Max Maven wrote:
[Tom Bowyer] ... was the first significant book reviewer in magic (in the early days of the Linking Ring, and his keen critical eye combined with an erudite style set a standard that has rarely been matched
Following on Bowyers heels was Paul Fleming, whose reviews starting in the 1940s were pure gold. Anyone wishing to obtain an excellent overview of the general state of magic literature in the 1940s need only read Flemings reviews. I am not as familiar with Bowyers reviews as I am with Flemings, but it seems fair to say that contemporary magic literature reviewers could do well by themselves in studying Flemings reviews as models of temperament, balance, etc.
Don Spurrier wrote:
Edwin A. Dawes = Henry Ridgley Evans
Doubtless Don intended this as a complimentary association, but I would not equate these two gentlemans writings very closely, except to the extent that they are both held in high regard and are writers on magic history. Evans writing was pure romance, and although certainly not fiction, Evans was often not too concerned about perpetuating certain myths of magic or its personalities.
Dawes, on the other hand, while most enthusiastic with his subject matter (as was Evans), has not been inclined to leave misconceptions as they are found, and his research and writing reflects a distinctly more scholarly approach. As I wrote in HGCR #1, Dawes pioneered the consistent inclusion of primary source documentation in his works, something very rarely done by writers before him (e.g., Frost, Burlingame, Evans, Clarke, etc.).
Like Gary B., I'm stumped as well in coming up with an apt comparison to Eddie Dawes. All things considered, I think Dawes currently has no peer. That said, based on their writings to date, I think Jim Steinmeyer and Ricky Jay come closest to Dawes in their approaches to magic history research and writing - all other nominees are a distant second. However, neither Steinmeyer nor Jay have been as prolific as Dawes. But they're younger and, in time, I believe they have a good shot at joining the rarified rank held by Dawes.
Finally, Im wondering if anyone could suggest an apt comparison to Ricky Jay when it comes to Jay's accomplishments in conjuring performance and
historical scholarship. Whether one looks to the past or present, I think he stands unique in that respect.