P.T. Barnum: The Legend and the Man

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Columbia University Press, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 437 pages
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From the Publisher: I believe hugely in advertising and blowing my own trumpet, beating the gongs, drums, to attract attention to a show, Phineas Taylor Barnum wrote to a publisher in 1860. "I don't believe in 'duping the public, ' but I believe in first attracting and then pleasing them." The name P.T. Barnum is virtually synonymous with the fine art of self-advertisement and the apocryphal statement, "There's a sucker born every minute." Nearly a century after his death, Barnum remains one of America's most celebrated figures. In the Selected Letters of P.T. Barnum, A.H. Saxon brings together more than 300 letters written by the self-styled "Prince of Humbugs." Here we see him, opinionated and exuberant, with only the rarest flashes of introspection and self-doubt, haggling with business partners, blustering over politics, and attempting to get such friends as Mark Twain to endorse his latest schemes.

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P. T. Barnum: the legend and the man

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Barnum, whose name has become synonymous with the circus and the art of humbug, wrote his autobiography at the age of 44 and updated it for the rest of his long life. Most other biographies have ... Read full review

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About the author (1989)

The late Charles Mierow was President of Colorado College.

Karl Morrison is on the faculty of the history department at Rutgers University and currently in residence at the

Erasmus Institute at the University of Notre Dame.

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