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P.T. Barnum: The Legend and the Man
by A.H. Saxon
This comprehensive study of the legendary showman employs diaries, letters, and business records to examine Barnum's personal and professional life--his sexual indiscretions, freak shows, and infamous hoaxes--and to debunk some of the many myths surrounding this most caricatured individual.
Paperback, 437 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Columbia University Press
(first published December 1st 1989)
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I don't read a lot of biographies, so when I do I try to make them the best. If there's a better book on P.T. Barnum, I can't imagine it. Saxon's research was painstaking and thorough, and he provides equally thorough notes to reinforce what he's done. In spite of the amount of information provided in these pages, though, Saxon's writing is not dry, the book is never dull and even the less interesting bits (e.g., reviewing finances for later shows) are given only that amount of space necessary b ...more