cover of book
 

The Showman and the Slave
by Benjamin Reiss
Harvard University Press, 2001
Cloth: 978-0-674-00636-2 | eISBN: 978-0-674-04265-0 | Paper: 978-0-674-05564-3
Library of Congress Classification E165.R36 2001
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.097309034

ABOUT THIS BOOK | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Reiss uses P. T. Barnum's Joice Heth hoax to examine the contours of race relations in the antebellum North. Barnum's first exhibit as a showman, Heth was an elderly enslaved woman said to be the 161-year-old former nurse of the infant George Washington. Seizing upon the novelty, the newly emerging commercial press turned her act--and especially her death--into one of the first media spectacles in American history.

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