P.T. Barnum : America's greatest showman

by Kunhardt, Philip B., Jr., 1928-2006.

Format: Print Book 1995
Availability: Available at 2 Libraries 2 of 3 copies
Available (2)
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Carnegie Library of McKeesport Biography B B267k
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B B267k
Jefferson Hills Public Library Biography 92 BAR
Location  Jefferson Hills Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  92 BAR
Unavailable (1)
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Shaler North Hills Library Biography CHECKED OUT
Location  Shaler North Hills Library
Collection  Biography
One of the earliest practitioners of "the show business, " P.T. Barnum built his reputation largely on the exoticism of others. A man of complex motives, Barnum possessed a unique genius and his influence on popular culture is evident to this day. Barnum will be a three-hour Discovery Channel special airing in October. Illustrations, 260 in color.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The Discovery Channel will air a TV documentary on Barnum in October, perhaps causing a boomlet in demand for the book, which, however, is readable enough and--with 525 illustrations, largely of the freaks and wonders Barnum famously exhibited--certainly visual enough to grab plenty of perusers all by itself. It tells the story of the greatest American figure in the history of show business (a term he may have coined). He started as a hoaxer, palming off an aged black woman as the 160-year-old former nurse of infant George Washington. The reputation for falsehood he acquired when this ruse was exposed stuck to him for the rest of his life but didn't slow him down at all. Indeed, perhaps the most impressive thing about Barnum was his boundless personal optimism, his faith that he could turn any setback into a means to greater success. The Kunhardts portray him proceeding from success to success, losing fortunes and houses occasionally, and ending up running his most famous venture, the circus-cum-freak-show he called and that is still known as the Greatest Show on Earth. They reveal, too, that although he pandered to the prejudices of his time, he was no callous huckster, but rather something of a velvet-gloved exploiter. (Reviewed Sept. 1, 1995)0679435743Ray Olson"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Show-biz pioneer Barnum (1810-1891) was not just the ``most famous and recognizable man'' of his time, he was its ``great liberating force,'' argue the authors (Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography). Here they combine numerous short but deft essays and a rich lode of illustrations to tell Barnum's story and chronicle his huge effect on his country. He began with humbug, touting such frauds as an ancient slave and a ``wooly horse,'' believing nonetheless that he had to give the public its money's worth in entertainment. Proprietor of his American Museum in New York City, Barnum went on to promote an array of amazements: the midget Tom Thumb, the Swedish singer Jenny Lind, bearded ladies, Siamese twins, the first hippopotamus in America. After his museum was destroyed by fire, Barnum resurrected it in the 1870s via a circus, eventually acquiring the famous elephant, Jumbo. Though admiring their subject, the authors acknowledge he reflected the racism of his times, exhibiting examples of ``savage and barbarous tribes.'' The book might have been enriched had they discussed how Barnum's spirit lives on today. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Barnum, P. T. -- (Phineas Taylor), -- 1810-1891.
Circus owners -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Knopf,1995
Edition 1st ed.
Other Titles Phineas Taylor Barnum
Contributors Kunhardt, Philip B., III, 1951-
Kunhardt, Peter W.
Language English
Description ix, 358 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 26 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 349-350) and index.
ISBN 0679435743
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