William Poundstone

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William Poundstone is an American author, columnist, and skeptic. He has written a number of books including the Big Secrets series and a biography of Carl Sagan. He is a cousin of comedienne Paula Poundstone.

An enthusiast of Harry Stephen Keeler, he maintains the Keeler homepage and contributed to the anthology A to Izzard: A Harry Stephen Keeler Companion (2002).


  • Big Secrets: The Uncensored Truth About All Sorts of Stuff You Are Never Supposed to Know (1983)
  • The Recursive Universe: Cosmic Complexity and the Limits of Scientific Knowledge (1984)
  • Bigger Secrets: More Than 125 Things They Prayed You'd Never Find Out (1986)
  • Labyrinths of Reason: Paradox, Puzzles, and the Frailty of Knowledge (1988)
  • The Ultimate: The Great Armchair Debates Settled Once and for All (1990)
  • Prisoner's Dilemma: John von Neumann, Game Theory, and the Puzzle of the Bomb (1992)
  • Biggest Secrets: More Uncensored Truth About All Sorts of Stuff You Are Never Supposed to Know (1993)
  • Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos (1999)
  • The Big Book of Big Secrets (2001) reprints Big Secrets and Biggest Secrets
  • How Would You Move Mount Fuji? : Microsoft's Cult of the Puzzle—How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers (2003)
  • Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street (2005)
  • Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (and What We Can Do About It) (2008)
  • Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It) (2010)
  • Are You Smart Enough to Work at Google? (2011)
  • Rock Breaks Scissors: A Practical Guide to Outguessing and Outwitting Almost Everybody (2014)

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