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Max Maven

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Max Maven

Cover of Genii (2007)
BornPhilip T. Goldstein
December 21, 1950
DiedNovember 1, 2022 (age 71)
CategoriesBooks by Max Maven

Max Maven (b.1950-d.2022), who legally changed his name from Philip Goldstein, was an American magician and mentalist. He often appeared on television magic shows to perform "interactive" mind reading tricks that work for the television audience.

Maven occasionally played a magician character (often as himself) on various television series, such as, "Magic," "The Art of Magic," "Something Strange with Max Maven," "Fresh Prince of Bel Air," and "The MAXimum Dimension."


While his public persona and performances fell squarely within the genre of mentalism, Maven's contributions to the magic community span far wider. He was respected within the industry for being a prolific author and innovating many of the magical and mentalist effects that are used by other magicians. He has been a magic consultant for such performers as David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Siegfried & Roy, and Doug Henning, and was a frequent contributor to industry journals such as Genii, The Linking Ring, and MUM. He has also been the featured magician at the annual conventions of both the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Having performed often in Japan, he was quite fluent in Japanese, although by his own admission, his literacy in the language wasn't as proficient.

His name was legally changed to Max Maven but still used "Phil Goldstein" as a pen name for technical writings.



  • The Magic Woods Award for Best Teaching Video for his mentalism DVD "Nothing." (2007)



  • The Art of Magic (book co-written with James Randi) ???? I think there is a confusion with a TV documentary named The Art of Magic in 1998. Who can confirm or infirm?


  • Max Maven's Mindgames (video) (1984)
  • Max Maven's VideoMind Phase One: Parlor Mentalism (1997)
  • Max Maven's VideoMind Phase Two: Close-Up Mentalism (1997)
  • Max Maven's VideoMind Phase Three: Stage Mentalism (1997)
  • VideoMind - Phases 1-3: Mentalism (3 volumes DVD 2004)
  • Nothing (2006)

As Phil Goldstein


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