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Secrets of the Sideshows

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ISBN-10: 0813191955

ISBN-13: 9780813191959

Edition: 2008

Authors: Joe Nickell

List price: $19.95
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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…    
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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 9/26/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 424
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.430
Language: English

Joe Nickell (Amherst, NY) has been called "the modern Sherlock Holmes" and "the real-life Scully" (from the X-Files). He has been on the trail of man-beasts and other mysterious creatures and phenomena for four decades.

List of Illustrations
Origins of the Sideshow
Early Roots
The Fair and Beyond
Beginnings of the Modern Circus
Barnum the Showman
The Greatest Show
Carnivals and More
On The Midway
Creating the Midway
Rides and Amusements
The Ten-in-one
The Banner Line
The Bally Platform
On the Inside
The Blowoff
Human Oddities: Large and Small
Fat People
Living Skeletons
Human Oddities: Between a Half and Two
Siamese Twins
Armless and Legless Wonders
Other Human Oddities
"Animal" People
Hirsute Women-and Men
And More
Anatomical Wonders
India-Rubber People
Special-Effects Performers
Mr. Anatomical Wonder
Created Oddities
Tattooed People
Pierced Ones
Other "Made" Oddities
Gaffed Oddities
Gaffed Acts
Working Acts
Sword Swallowers
Phenomenal Ingesters
Human Pincushions
Other Torture Acts
Electric Marvels
Snake Charmers
Knife Throwers
Psychic Marvels
Torture Box Illusions
Living Heads
Headless People
Floating Lady
Gorilla Girl
Girl in the Goldfish Bowl
Other Illusions
Animal Shows
Single-Animal Acts and Exotics
Freak Animal Exhibits
Flea Circuses
Pickled Exhibits
Other Preserved Exhibits
Bogus Creatures
Other Curios
The Egress