Cover: The Showman and the Slave: Race, Death, and Memory in Barnum’s America, from Harvard University PressCover: The Showman and the Slave in PAPERBACK

The Showman and the Slave

Race, Death, and Memory in Barnum’s America

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Product Details


$30.00 • £24.95 • €27.00

ISBN 9780674055643

Publication Date: 03/15/2010


288 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

12 halftones


  • List of Figures*
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Dark Subject
  • I. Death and Dying
    • 1. Possession
    • 2. The Celebrated Curiosity
    • 3. Private Acts, Public Memories
    • 4. Sacred and Profane
    • 5. Culture Wars
    • 6. Love, Automata, and India Rubber
    • 7. Spectacle
  • II. Resurrection
    • 8. Authenticity and Commodity
    • 9. Exposure and Mastery
    • 10. Erasure
  • III. Life
    • 11. A Speculative Biography
  • Note to the 2010 Printing
  • Notes
  • Index
  • * Figures
    • 1. Portion of the bill of sale for Joice Heth
    • 2. Corner of Broadway and Ann Street, New York, 1831 (The Old Broadway Stages, lithograph)
    • 3. Advertisement for the Joice Heth exhibit
    • 4. Rembrandt Peale, George Washington, Patriae Pater
    • 5. Christian Gullager, George Washington (oil portrait, 1789)
    • 6. Phrenological portraits of George Washington and an “African” (from O. S. and L. N. Fowler, The Illustrated Self-Instructor in Phrenology and Physiology, New York: Fowler and Wells, 1849)
    • 7. Pamphlet biography of Joice Heth
    • 8. B. J. Harrison, Fair of the American Institute at Niblo’s Garden (watercolor drawing, c. 1845)
    • 9. New York Herald front page, September 24, 1836
    • 10. P. T. Barnum (autographed engraving, 1844)
    • 11. Caricature of “Judy Heath” (from The Autobiography of Petite Bunkum, the Yankee Showman, New York: P. F. Harris, 1855)
    • 12. Diary of William Heth, Saturday, March 2, 1793

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