P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman

Overview

With P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman, Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt - who were responsible for the best-selling Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography - rediscover the genius and vision of an unmatched impresario and entrepreneur. In vivid words and spellbinding pictures (more than 500 photographs, engravings, and color lithographs from the renowned Meserve Collection and forty other archives), we meet a man of complex motives, a master of merchandise, and inveterate ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $24.46   
  • Used (24) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$24.46
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(312)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Hardcover New 0679435743 This is a hardcover book with dust jacket.

Ships from: Staten Island, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$39.99
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(171)

Condition: New
New York, NY 1995 Hard cover First edition. New ed. New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 358 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Gift ... Quality. Brand New. Fast Arrival. Packaged and Shipped in bubble wrap. Pristine condition. Please leave us positive feedback. Thanks! Free USPS Tracking. 1st edition 1995 Read more Show Less

Ships from: Derby, CT

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$66.35
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:

(214)

Condition: New

Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

With P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman, Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt - who were responsible for the best-selling Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography - rediscover the genius and vision of an unmatched impresario and entrepreneur. In vivid words and spellbinding pictures (more than 500 photographs, engravings, and color lithographs from the renowned Meserve Collection and forty other archives), we meet a man of complex motives, a master of merchandise, and inveterate self-promoter often reviled for his opportunism. We meet the man who did not say "There's a sucker born every minute"; whose best friends were clergymen; whose autobiography sold more than a million copies; who took a public leap through a flaming hoop to prove to the ASPCA that his performing horses were in no danger; who (allegedly) plotted with Samuel Clemens to lease a comet's tail to take a million passengers on a guided tour of outer space. We meet the man who built his reputation - and his fortune - largely on the exoticism of others, but whose crowning moment as a member of the Connecticut state legislature came in a speech in favor of the constitutional amendment to abolish slavery: "A human soul is not to be trifled with. It may inhabit the body of a Chinaman, a Turk, an Arab or a Hotentot - it is still an immortal spirit!" There is no denying Barnum's abiding influence, more than a century after his death, on our popular culture. For better and for worse, we owe America's irrepressible infatuation with show biz largely to him.

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Show-biz pioneer Barnum (1810-1891) was not just the ``most famous and recognizable man'' of his time, he was its ``great liberating force,'' argue the authors (Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography). Here they combine numerous short but deft essays and a rich lode of illustrations to tell Barnum's story and chronicle his huge effect on his country. He began with humbug, touting such frauds as an ancient slave and a ``wooly horse,'' believing nonetheless that he had to give the public its money's worth in entertainment. Proprietor of his American Museum in New York City, Barnum went on to promote an array of amazements: the midget Tom Thumb, the Swedish singer Jenny Lind, bearded ladies, Siamese twins, the first hippopotamus in America. After his museum was destroyed by fire, Barnum resurrected it in the 1870s via a circus, eventually acquiring the famous elephant, Jumbo. Though admiring their subject, the authors acknowledge he reflected the racism of his times, exhibiting examples of ``savage and barbarous tribes.'' The book might have been enriched had they discussed how Barnum's spirit lives on today. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This highly approachable, lavishly illustrated, and wholly entertaining biography of the famous entertainment entrepreneur is neither adulatory tribute nor expos. Drawing on dozens of private and public archives and more than 1000 unpublished letters, the authors present a straightforward, chronological life of the American businessman who had a boundless talent for predicting and manipulating the public's curiosity. A father writing with his two sons, the Kunhardts (Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography, LJ 9/15/92) pay special attention to Barnum's American Museum days in New York City and his personal and financial fluctuations. They have compiled a vast amount of photographic and printed ephemera, much of it extremely rare, that will attract many casual readers and bring new revelations to Barnum enthusiasts. But the just-the-facts writing style, along with the brevity of the chapters, at times impedes the narrative's flow and seems incongruous with the subject's flamboyance. On the other hand, Barnum's autobiographical works leave much to be desired in terms of objectivity. Thus, this work deserves a place alongside A.H. Saxson's acclaimed P.T. Barnum (LJ 8/89). Highly recommended.-Douglas McClemont, New York
Booknews
A vivid portrayal of P.T. Barnum, genius entrepreneur, friend of the clergy, inveterate self-promoter, and thoroughly contradictory individual who one moment profited off the exoticism of others, the next spoke in favor of the abolishment of slavery. Includes over 500 photographs, engravings, and archival color lithographs of the man and his entire entourage. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Ray Olson
The Discovery Channel will air a TV documentary on Barnum in October, perhaps causing a boomlet in demand for the book, which, however, is readable enough and--with 525 illustrations, largely of the freaks and wonders Barnum famously exhibited--certainly visual enough to grab plenty of perusers all by itself. It tells the story of the greatest American figure in the history of show business (a term he may have coined). He started as a hoaxer, palming off an aged black woman as the 160-year-old former nurse of infant George Washington. The reputation for falsehood he acquired when this ruse was exposed stuck to him for the rest of his life but didn't slow him down at all. Indeed, perhaps the most impressive thing about Barnum was his boundless personal optimism, his faith that he could turn any setback into a means to greater success. The Kunhardts portray him proceeding from success to success, losing fortunes and houses occasionally, and ending up running his most famous venture, the circus-cum-freak-show he called and that is still known as the Greatest Show on Earth. They reveal, too, that although he pandered to the prejudices of his time, he was no callous huckster, but rather something of a velvet-gloved exploiter.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679435747
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/26/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 10.34 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)