Women of the American Circus, 1880-1940

Women of the American Circus, 1880-1940

by Katherine H. Adams, Michael L. Keene
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Women of the American Circus, 1880-1940 by Katherine H. Adams, Michael L. Keene

During the years 1880 to 1940, the glory days of the American circus, a third to a half of the cast members were women-a large group of very visible American workers whose story needs telling. This book, using sources such as diaries, autobiographies, newspaper accounts, films, posters, and route books, first considers the popular media's presentation of these performers as unnatural scandalous-as well as romantic and thrilling. Next are the stories told by circus women, which contradict and complicate other versions of their lives. Across American in those years an array of acts featured women, such as tableaux, freak shows, girlie shows, tiger acts, and aerial performances, all involving special skills and all detailed here. The book offers a unique and fascinating view of not just the circus but of what it meant to be an American woman at work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786472284
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 10/18/2012
Pages: 223
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Katherine H. Adams is the Hutchinson Distinguished Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans. Michael L. Keene is a professor emeritus of English at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

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Women of the American Circus, 1880-1940 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LewisBookReviews More than 1 year ago
This book contains a lot of good information, but it definitely has a small audience. It does relate some to women’s studies (which is why I read it), but I would recommend it more for people who are interested in circus history or circus press and advertising. The authors included good color examples of circus advertising and posters and some black and white photographs. The book talked a lot about how the press covered circus events and tragedies and how the circus leaders implemented advertising and marketing strategies. The book examines the hardships of circus performance through this book; I had not realized the extent of the mistreatment of the circus workers and performers.  Again, the book had some interesting information, but you would really have to be into circus history for it to be of much use.