Click here to join the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum and author Samuel Porteous for the incredible story of the magician Ching Ling Foo

Ling Foo:

America's First Chinese Superstar

On the eve of the 20th century at the height of anti-Chinese xenophobia and the China Exclusion Act, Ching Ling Foo, one of the greatest illusionists ever seen on American soil, along with his talented family of Chinese musicians and acrobats overcomes on stage attacks, headline generating deportation attempts, homeland tragedy, crooked managers and a diabolically clever American copycat to make an indelible impact on American culture becoming the highest paid and most popular act in the United States twice! First, between 1898 and 1900 then once more between 1912 and 1915 when they did it again...

Look Inside Learn More Buy Now

Audible Version Coming Soon!

Meet the Author

Samuel Porteous is an award-winning Shanghai-based artist/author with close to 20 years experience living and working in China. For the last ten years he has been Chief Creative Director of Drowsy Emperor; a small boutique design/content studio serving Chinese and Western audiences...

Read More

"This definitive biography would be difficult to surpass. Porteous relays it all in an engaging manner befitting an entertainer, with pictures from the period. It will please those who are even a bit curious about the behind-the-scenes story of illusions. As is true of any compelling narrative of an individual life, Foo’s, it is an engrossing depiction of a time and a place, the end of the Victorian era and the advent of modern globalization. This book restores a celebrity to earned fame. Everyone loves a successful magic trick."

Frank Wu, author of Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White, read his Book & Film Globe review here

"It’s a story that, quite simply, could not have been told in the days of Ching Ling Foo’s success. His career was so intermingled with the secrecy of magic, the stereotypes of Asian culture, and the exaggerations of vaudeville publicists that it seemed inevitable that this wizard would be shrouded in layers of mystery. So, it’s remarkable that Porteous has determinately decided to link the stories—the East and the West—at a time when we are able to appreciate the efforts to link divergent cultures. Here is the truth of Ching Ling Foo, and the honor which has been long overdue to the master magicians and unexpected diplomat in the world of show business. It is, as any great wizard can tell you, a story about what we think is impossible."

-Jim Steinmeyer, described by the New York Times as the “celebrated invisible man—inventor, designer, and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians of the last quarter-century”, is also one of the field’s preeminent historians and author of best-selling books about magic and magic history

BookAuthority Best New Biography Books ranks Ching Ling Foo: America's First Chinese Superstar as #13 in its list of "51 Best New Biography Books to Read in 2021"!

Click here to see Book Authority's ranking of the 51 Best New Biography Books to Read in 2021. has just declared "Ching Ling Foo: America's First Chinese Superstar" the "#3 best Chinese biography of all time"!

Book Authority is the "world's leading site for book recommendations by thought leaders" and has been ranked #1 on Product Hunt and featured on CNN and Forbes.

BookAuthority uses a proprietary technology to identify and rate the best books, using dozens of different signals, including public mentions, recommendations, ratings, sentiment, popularity and sales history. This includes maintaining the most comprehensive collection of book recommendations from domain experts such as Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, Prof. Daniel Kahneman, Sheryl Sandberg, and David Allen.

Click here to read more!

See More Reviews