The Greatest Showman is an original musical film starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, and Michelle Williams. The story was inspired by P. T. Barnum's life and his creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. The movie has gotten some fantastic reviews, even landing a Golden Globe Awards for Best Original Song, however, the main complaint seems to be that the movie's premise is incredibly fictionalized without being historically accurate whatsoever.
What better way is there to learn more about the story behind the famous politician and businessman than through books? Educate your friends and family before or after seeing the movie with our Classic of the Month, written by Barnum himself.
Originally published in the United States in 1855, P.T. Barnum recounts "the true history" of his adventures and the many enterprises in which he had engaged. A fascinating and—to say the least—colorful man, Barnum regales us with a storied chronicle of his checkered career, where he had been everything from farmer's boy to small town merchant to bank president and, ultimately, a master showman.
He had frequented jails and palaces, known poverty and wealth, traveled over a large portion of two continents, and had seen all varieties of people and characters. This light-hearted, intriguing history will endeavor the reader to laugh at the antics of this inimitable showman, who, interestingly enough, never coined the phrase, "There's a sucker born every minute."
About the Author
Phineas Taylor ("P.T.") Barnum (1810-1891) is one of the most peculiarly famous personalities in American history. A consummate showman and entrepreneur, Barnum was famous for bringing both high and low culture to American audiences. From the melodious opera singer Jenny Lind to the bizarre hoax of the Feejee Mermaid, from the clever and quite diminutive Tom Thumb to Jumbo the Elephant, Barnum's oddities, spectacles, galas, extravaganzas, and events tickled the fancies of Americans of all ages.