P.T. Barnum & Doug Mishler – The Something of Humbug

Posted on August 27th, 2019 in American History by Ignacio Ayala

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PT Barnum, sometimes known as the Prince of Humbug, was born in Connecticut in 1810. In many ways, he personified the American character that Frenchman Alexis De Tocqueville described in his book, “Democracy in America.” Barnum delighted in making money and telling the truth, as he saw it. Some truths were told in the political arena, where he was twice a member of the Connecticut legislature and, in the interim, Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Some of his truths were lies when they were told to other people, like the history of some of his circus performers. Other truths were told in his newspapers. PT Barnum, ‘PT’ as he liked to be called, was best known as the creator of the ‘Best Show On Earth,’ the Barnum and Bailey Circus. I spoke with PT Barnum, personified by Doug Mishler, in the studios of Radio Curious in July of 1996 when this program was originally broadcast.

P.T. Barnum recommends “My Toils and Struggles,” the autobiography of PT Barnum. Doug Mishler recommends “The Culture of Complaint,” by Robert Hughes.

Originally Broadcast: July 24, 1996

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