Sideshow U.S.A.

 Freaks and the American Culture Imagination


aw item number:  2004.128 size:  6.25"L x 9.25"H x .8"W
author:  Rachel Adams number of pages:  289
publisher:  The University of Chicago Press edition:  Cloth
publication date:  2001 acquisition date:  10/20/2004
ISBN:   0-226-00538-0 status:  Library

description:  A staple of American popular culture during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the freak show seemed to vanish after the Second World War. But as Rachel Adams reveals in Sideshow U.S.A., images of the freak show, with its combination of the grotesque, the horrific, and the amusing, stubbornly reappeared in literature and the arts. Freak shows, she contends, have survived because of their capacity for reinvention. Empty of any inherent meaning, the freak's body becomes a stage for playing out some of the twentieth century's most pressing social and political concerns, from debates about race, empire, and immigration, to anxiety about gender, and controversies over taste and public standards of decency.



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