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American Sideshow

Author: Marc Hartzman
Publisher: Penguin
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A fascinating look into the history of the American sideshow and its performers. Learn what's real, what's fake, and what's just downright bizarre. You've probably heard of Tom Thumb. The Elephant Man. Perhaps even Chang and Eng, the original Siamese twins. But what about Eli Bowen, the legless acrobat? Or Prince Randian, the human torso? These were just a few of the many stars that shone during the heyday of the American sideshow, from 1840 to 1950. American Sideshow chronicles the lives of truly amazing performers, examining these brave and extraordinary curiosities not just as sideshow performers but as people, delving into the lives they led and the ways they were able to triumph over and even benefit from their abnormalities. American Sideshow discusses the rise and fall of the original sideshows and their subsequent replacement by today's self-made freaks. With the progress of modern medicine, technological advancements, and the wonderful world of body modification, abnormalities are being overcome, treated and even prevented: Siamese twins can now be separated, and in addition to this, tongues can be forked, horns surgically implanted, and earlobes removed. There are also, of course, modern-day giants, fire eaters, sword swallowers, glass eaters, human blockheads, and oh, so much more. These fascinating personalities are celebrated through intimate biographies paired with stunning photographs. Approximately two hundred performers from the past one hundred and sixty years are featured, giving readers a comprehensive and sometimes astonishing look into the history of the American sideshow


Nobody s Fool

Author: Bill Griffith
Publisher: Abrams
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Nobody’s Fool follows the story of Schlitzie’s long career—from Coney Island and the Ringling Bros. Circus to small-town carnivals and big-city sideshows—which is one of legend. Today, Schlitzie is most well-known for his appearance in the cult classic Freaks. The making of Freaks and Schlitzie’s role in the film is a centerpiece of the book. In researching Schlitzie’s life (1901–1971), Griffith has tracked down primary sources and archives throughout the country, including conducting interviews with those who worked with him and had intimate knowledge of his personality, his likes and dislikes, how he responded to being a sideshow “freak,” and much more. This graphic novel biography provides never-before-revealed details of his life, offering a unique look into his world and restoring dignity to his life by recognizing his contributions to popular culture.


Attack of the Killer Facts

Author: Eric Gryzymokowski
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
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Factoid Attack: Inherent sadistic streak in dentists confirmed! The electric chair was invented by a dentist, Dr. Alfred Southwick. Not surprising, dentists have been perfecting torture devices for centuries. Factoid Attack: Galaxy at risk! Intelligent life in short supply! In 1961, Astronomer Frank Drake estimated the number of probable intelligent civilizations inhabiting our galaxy. Using conservative numbers, that estimate came to 10,000. Unfortunately, we are not included in that total. Factoid Attack: Colorblind bulls hate all matadors equally! The color of a matador's cape, or muleta, is traditionally red, which is widely believed to irritate the bull. In reality, bulls are colorblind, so it is irrelevant what color cape a matador uses to antagonize them. Shot in the dark, but maybe it's the being stabbed with swords bit that pisses them off. Forget Fringe, Warehouse 13, and The X-Files. In this book, you'll find more weird and wacko truths than in all those combined. From golden poison dart frogs with enough venom to kill ten grown humans to cockroaches that can survive radiation 15 times stronger than what kills people, scary and strange just got scarier—and stranger!


Canadian Carnival Freaks and the Extraordinary Body 1900 1970s

Author: Jane Nicholas
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
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In Canadian Carnival Freaks and the Extraordinary Body, 1900-1970s, Nicholas offers a sophisticated analysis of the place of the freak show in twentieth-century culture.


An American Prayer Book

Author: Christopher L. Webber
Publisher: Church Publishing, Inc.
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This well-researched anthology looks at American history through the prayers its people have offered over the past two-and-a-half centuries. Prayers are drawn from a wide variety of faiths, including Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Sections include: Prayers for America: for an Election, for the Government, in Times of War or Crisis, for Repentance and Renewal, for Peace, Thanksgivings and Litanies Prayers for national occasions: Inauguration Day, Presidential birthdays, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Election Day, Thanksgiving Day, and others Prayers from American history: Prayers said on historic occasions such as Washington’s funeral, the American Revolution, the death of George Washington, the slave trade and abolition, the Civil War, the death of Abraham Lincoln, the Industrial Revolution, the Spanish-American War, the First World War, the Second World War, the Clinton impeachment crisis, the 9/11 attack, and more.


Russian Sideshow

Author: Robert L. Willett
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
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The doughboys' view of America's little-known and ill-fated military campaigns agains the Bolsheviks


Olympians of the Sawdust Circle

Author: William L. Slout
Publisher: Wildside Press LLC
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The culmination of more than thirty years of research, Olympians of the Sawdust Circle is an attempt to identify every major and minor player in the American circus world of the nineteenth century. This A-Z guide lists: surname, given name, dates of birth and death (if known), type of entertainment (and function) with which the individual was associated, and the companies and dates by whom the person was employed. Every researcher and library interested in American circus history will need this seminal guide. An absolutely astonishing piece of scholarship.


Religion and Sexuality

Author: Lawrence Foster
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
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Secrets of the Sideshows

Author: Joe Nickell
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
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The carnival sideshows of the past have left behind a fascinating legacy of mystery and intrigue. The secrets behind such daring feats as fire-eating and sword swallowing and bizarre exhibitions of human oddities as "Alligator Boys" and "Gorilla Girls" still remain, only grudgingly if ever given up by performers and carnival professionals. Working alongside the performers, Joe Nickell blows the lid off these mysteries of the midway. The author reveals the structure of the shows, specific methods behind the performances, and the showmen's tactics for recruiting performers and attracting crowds. He also traces the history of such spectacles, from ancient Egyptian magic and street fairs to the golden age of P.T. Barnum's sideshows. With revealing insight into the personal lives of the men and women billed as freaks, Nickell unfolds the captivating story of the midway show.


The American Mercury

Author: Henry Louis Mencken
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