to some readers it will come as a surprise to learn that houdini exposed some handcuff secrets, considering that his career depended on them. it might also be assumed that he reserved such writings until he was through with the secrets concerned. quite to the contrary, these represent some of his earliest literary efforts, published while he was still actively engaged in baffling the public with the very artifices he discloses.

harry houdini: savvy enough to know that exposing his secrets would discredit his imitators; showman enough to draw crowds even after those secrets were revealed. there's a lesson in there somewhere. please, houdini, somebody: tell me how to live, what to do, how to succeed. i'm at a loss tonight.

(excerpt from houdini on magic, edited by walter gibson and morris young)