In its heyday,the American circus was the largest showbiz industry the world had ever seen. From the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, traveling circuses performed for audiences of up to 14,000 per show, employed as many as 1,600 men and women, and crisscrossed the country on 20,000 miles of railroad in one season alone. The spectacle ofdeath-defying daredevils, strapping superheroesandscantily clad starlets, fearless animal trainers,andstartling “freaks”gripped the American imagination, outshining theater, vaudeville, comedy, and minstrel shows.
This book shedsfresh light on the circus phenomenon. With photographic gems of early circus performers, as well asoriginal posters, lithographs, sideshow bannersandengravingsfrom the 16th to 19th centuries illustrating the worldwide roots of the circus, readers are transported toa world of thrill and skill, grit and glamor. Highlights include iconic circus photographs by Mathew Brady, Cornell Capa, Walker Evans, Weegee, and Lisette Model, andlittle-known circus images byStanley Kubrickand Charles and Ray Eames.
Linda Granfieldis a widely published author whose bookCircus: An Albumwon six awards, including a place on the “Best of the Best” list by Chicago Public Library. Known for her clear and accessible writing, Granfield has penned many young adult publications as well as adult nonfiction books. She lives in Toronto, Canada.
The contributing author
Fred Dahlinger, Jr.from Baraboo, Wisconsin, is a circus historian and author of several books on the American circus.
Noel Danielis a graduate of Princeton University and a former Fulbright Scholar to Berlin. Her TASCHEN publications includeTATTOO 1730s-1950s,Kay Nielsen’s A Thousand and One NightsandEast of the Sun and West of the Moon, The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Wintertime Tales, Magic, andThe Circus.