Facebook Pixel
Main SR only Anker

The Circus. 1870s–1950s

Hardcover in slipcase, 9.9 x 15 in., 11.81 lb, 544 pages
US$ 70
The magic and mystery of the Big Top come alive in this history of the American circus. Famed photographs and little-known images capture the 19th- and 20th-century showbiz phenomenon, a unique traveling art form that eventually paved the way for television and film. From sad clowns to titillating tightrope walkers, join the circus on stage, behind the scenes, and in its enduring imprint on the American imagination.

The Greatest Show on Earth

The history and legacy of the circus

During its heyday, the American circus was the largest show-biz industry the world had ever seen. From the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, traveling American circuses performed for audiences of up to 14,000 per show and crisscrossed the country on 20,000 miles of railroad in one season alone. The spectacle of death-defying daredevils and strapping superheroes gripped the American imagination, outshining theater, comedy, and minstrel shows of the day, and ultimately paving the way for film and television. The circus offered young Americans the dream of adventure and reinvention.

This book brings to life the grit and glamour of the circus phenomenon. Images include photographic gems by early circus photographers Frederick Whitman Glasier and Edward Kelty, many of the earliest color photographs ever taken of the circus from the 1940s and 1950s, iconic circus photographs by Mathew Brady or Cornell Capa, and little-known circus images by Stanley Kubrick and Charles and Ray Eames. For the first time, contemporary readers can experience the legend of the American circus in all its glory.
The authors

Linda Granfield is a widely published author whose book Circus: An Album won 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.

San Francisco-based circus historian Dominique Jando has written five books on the circus, was associate artistic director of New York’s Big Apple Circus 1983–2002, and director of the San Francisco School of Circus Arts 2003–04. He is also cofounder of Paris’s world-famous circus arts competition, the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain.

The contributing author

Fred Dahlinger, Jr. from Baraboo, Wisconsin, is a circus historian and author of several books on the American circus.

The editor

Noel Daniel is a graduate of Princeton University and a former Fulbright Scholar to Berlin. Her TASCHEN publications include TATTOO 1730s-1950s, Kay Nielsen’s A Thousand and One Nights and East 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, and The Circus.

The Circus. 1870s–1950s
Hardcover in slipcase, 9.9 x 15 in., 11.81 lb, 544 pages
Robert Crumb

Robert Crumb

“I like the Circus book because it has lots of nice big lurid photos, the whole grotesque bizarreness of circuses. I went to one of these as a kid. It was an overpowering experience, and the book captures all of that. Oh, and there are great reproductions of colorful old circus posters.”
Illustration: Robert Nippoldt
The Circus. 1870s–1950s

The Circus.
1870s–1950s

New edition, only US$ 80
Original edition US$ 200
Save US$ 120
The Circus. 1870s–1950s - Not available
The Circus.
1870s–1950s
US$ 70
The Circus. 1870s–1950s - Not available