Circus and Carnival Ballyhoo lifts the curtain on carnivals in America. Here is the history of the North American side show at circuses and carnivals, along with the stories of freaks and other side show acts in other venues such as dime museums, store front shows, in vaudeville, on movie theatre stages - and even at touring whale shows. This follow-up to Seeing is Believing (ECW, 2002) tells the story of the carnival in words and pictures.
The book follows the development of the circus side show with interviews and stories from side show workers that explain the role of freaks, working acts, managers, and talkers - and explores how important grift was to circuses and how it became located inside the side show.
From circus transportation to highlights of the construction of the big top, to Lentini the three-legged man, Siamese twins, and the folks with an extra body growing right out of them, Stencell gives us an incredible and very real perspective on the circus in words and photos.