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P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman
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P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  81 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
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.
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published September 26th 1995 by Knopf
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Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
After I got done reading this I had to do a check to make sure the authors were not related to P.T. Barnum because along with his picture on almost every other page is a definite liking for the man.

"America's greatest showman" is not mere hyperbole. By bringing together a living cabinet of curiosities he became famous worldwide. From Tom Thumb, nowadays politically correctly known as vertically challenged to Jumbo the elephant whose name became synonymous with anything of major proportions, Bar
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shocked at every turn of this incredible life story. Could not put this down. Came to P.T. Barnum after learning he was a major influence on Michael Jackson. It's amazing to realise that the Dangerous album cover is an elaborate homage to Barnum's insane life and accomplishments; the Greatest Show on Earth. He's not a hero by any means, with his shocking cruelty to animals and people, but with his unstoppable ambition, arguably good intentions and keen understanding of human nature he also deser ...more
Jan 30, 2014 rated it liked it
overall good, would've liked to learn more about the performers
May 21, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm a native of Bridgeport, CT, where Barnum lived and worked for much of his life, and I've been fascinated -- possibly obsessed -- with Barnum since I was about 7 years old.

I wanted to like this book more than I did. I did like it, but I remain of two minds about the format. The text is broken in to brief, easy-to-digest sections -- perfect for my dwindling attention span, so I appreciated that. But at times, I wondered if there was perhaps more information that the authors had omitted, in ord
Oct 10, 2011 rated it liked it
I was directed to this book because I wanted to learn more about Barnum, General Tom Thumb and Lavinia Warren after reading "The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb: A Novel". In that respect, it was a little disappointing, there wasn't a lot of detail on those particular people. In another respect, it was very interesting. It is chock full of interesting period photography of Barnum's "Living Curiosities", as well as copies of ads and newspaper articles representing the perspective of the day. It h ...more
Feb 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
A giant book about P.T. Barnum; full of period photos, in an easy to read format. What more do you need? Loaded with interesting anecdotes such as Barnum NOT actually saying, "there's a sucker born every minute." Barnum practiced "cons" (such as the "egress"), but they were always light-hearted cons. Ones that left the "victims" feeling snookered but amused.
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating book about the man who invented or at least made famous circuses in the US. His history is fascinating.
Tom Gordon
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
mediocre writing great story
Sue Kozlowski
Aug 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Non-fiction. He was such a show man. Book has lots of pictures.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
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