Circus and Carnival Ballyhoo

Circus and Carnival Ballyhoo

Sideshow Freaks, Jaggers and Blade Box Queens

Book - 2010
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Perseus Publishing
Circus and Carnival Ballyhoo lifts the curtain on carnivals in America. Here is the history of the North American side show at circuses and carnivals, along with the stories of freaks and other side show acts in other venues such as dime museums, store front shows, in vaudeville, on movie theatre stages ? and even at touring whale shows. This follow-up to Seeing is Believing (ECW, 2002) tells the story of the carnival in words and pictures. The book follows the development of the circus side show with interviews and stories from side show workers that explain the role of freaks, working acts, managers, and talkers ? and explores how important grift was to circuses and how it became located inside the side show. From circus transportation to highlights of the construction of the big top, to Lentini the three-legged man, Siamese twins, and the folks with an extra body growing right out of them, Stencell gives us an incredible and very real perspective on the circus in words and photos.

Independent Publishing Group

From Lentini the three-legged man and Siamese twins to equipment caravans and big top architects, this captivating collection lifts the striped curtain to reveal the larger-than-life world of circuses, carnivals, and freak shows in post-World War II America. Copious never-before-seen photographs, in-depth historical research, and insightful interviews with former sideshow employees illustrate the development of the circus sideshow, the roles of key groups?the freaks, working acts, managers, talkers?and the importance of the grift.

Publisher: Toronto : ECW Press, c2010
Description: xix, 391 p. : ill., facsims., ports. ; 21 x 26 cm
ISBN: 9781550228809
Branch Call Number: 791.35 Ste


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Jul 13, 2012

This is the real thing. The photos are great. It reads perhaps too much like an encyclopedia with short personal stories mixed in. However you believe that these people are real and the stories true. These are the real people who lived the Dylanesque lives of the side-show.

Jun 22, 2012

I grew up with the author and can assure you this is an authentic, totally engrossing, account of his many years in the circus and sideshow business. He truly is "a boy who ran away and joined the circus". M. Thomas, Carp, Ontario, 2012.

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