Surveys of the history of magic (and of witchcraft, although this item is decidedly not one of the latter) are thick on the ground, so with each new book, one can fairly ask what new or different elements it offers. The greatest strength of this book is its conceptual breadth. Beyond the standard medieval and early modern history of European magic and its repression, it offers (relatively) lengthy treatment of magic in post-Enlightenment Europe, including coverage of two topics almost never found in more "standard" surveys—stage magic and the modern academic treatment of magic. Covering so much ground in so short a space is a tall order, and the book's deficits inevitably stem from its constant compression of complicated topics and questionable choices regarding inclusion and exclusion.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_bailey/34/