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Circus Books, Sideshow and Freak Books

More Than 80 of The Best Factual Circus Books On The Internet

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In the circus category you will find books with information on: circus history, circus performers, owners, circus fires and circus trains.

In the sideshow category, we have provided books on the strange, the odd and the unusual, sideshow performers and freaks of nature.

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The Circus Books        Sideshow Books

 

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When the Circus Came to Town! An American Tradition in Photographs  
   
When the Circus Came to Town!
An American Tradition in Photographs
Hardcover – March 24, 2020
by Dawn Rogala, David Haberstich
and Shannon Perich
 
   
The photographs in this book focus on the people—from midway artists to roustabouts, from performers and their families to the audiences who watch them each night—who create the magic of the circus  
Autobiography of P. T. Barnum
Barnum's Own Story:
The Autobiography of P. T. Barnum
  Fall of the Big Top:
The Vanishing American Circus
by David Lewis Hammarstrom
Fall of the Big Top:
The Vanishing American Circus
by David Lewis Hammarstrom
     
When the Circus Came to Town! An American Tradition in Photographs
When the Circus Came to Town!
An American Tradition in Photographs
Hardcover – March 24, 2020
by Dawn Rogala, David Haberstich
and Shannon Perich
  Life Story of the
Ringling Brothers by Alfred T. Ringling
Life Story of the
Ringling Brothers
by Alfred T. Ringling
     
Show Trains of the 20th Century
Show Trains
of the 20th Century
by Fred Jr. Dahlinger
 

 

The Circus Moves by Rail 1st Edition  by Tom Parkinson (Author), Charles Philip Fox (Author)
The Circus Moves by Rail 1st Edition
by Tom Parkinson (Author), Charles Philip Fox (Author)

     

Circus Train
America's Greatest
Circus Train
by Bruce C. Nelson

 

The Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918

The Great Circus Train Wreck of 1918: Tragedy Along the Indiana Lakeshore
by Richard M. Lytle
     

The Circus Fire A True Story of an American Tragedy  by O'Nan, Stewart

The Circus Fire A True Story of an American Tragedy
by O'Nan, Stewart

  The Hartford Circus Fire: Tragedy Under the Big Top (Disaster)
The Hartford Circus Fire: Tragedy Under the Big Top (Disaster)
     

 Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You've Never Heard of  by David Carlyon and Ken Emerson
Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You've Never Heard of
by David Carlyon
and Ken Emerson

  Ringling, The Last Laugh
Ringling, The Last Laugh: This is the real story of the Ringling Brothers as told by John Ringling, the last surviving brother, in 1936
by Michael Lancaster
     

Ringlingville USA by Jrerry Apps
Ringlingville USA: The Stupendous Story of Seven Siblings and Their Stunning Circus Succes
by Jerry Apps

  Ringling: The Florida Years, by David C. Weeks
Ringling: The Florida Years
by David C. Weeks
     

Big Top Boss: John Ringling North and the Circus by David Hammarstrom
Big Top Boss: John Ringling North and the Circus
by David Hammarstrom

  The Circus Kings: Our Ringling Family Story by Henry Ringling North
The Circus Kings: Our Ringling Family Story
by Henry Ringling North
     
Three Ringlings in Montana by Lee Rostad
Three Ringlings in Montana
by Lee Rostad
  American Legends: The Life of P.T. Barnum
American Legends: The Life of P.T. Barnum
by Charles River
     

The Life of P. T. Barnum, Written by Himself
The Life of P. T. Barnum, Written by Himself

  
Barnum: An American Life
by Robert Wilson
Barnum: An American Life
by Robert Wilson
     

P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman
P. T. Barnum: America's Greatest Showman
by Philip B. Kunhardt Jr.

  The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum by Candace Fleming.
The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous
Life of Showman P. T. Barnum
by Candace Fleming.
     

P.T. Barnum:  A Captivating Guide  to the American Showman Who  Founded What Became the  Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
P.T. Barnum:
A Captivating Guide
to the American Showman Who
Founded What Became the
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

  Mud Show: Fred Powledge
Mud Show: A Circus Season
by Fred Powledge
     
Tales of a small
town circus legend
by Dale R Albrecht
Tales of a small
town circus legend
by Dale R Albrecht
 

Tall Tales of a Short Clown by Barry Lubin
Tall Tales of a Short Clown
by Barry Lubin

     
Never Quote the Weather to a Sea Lion: And Other Uncommon Tales from the  Big Apple Circus Paul Binder
Never Quote the Weather to a Sea Lion: And Other Uncommon Tales from the Founder of the Big Apple Circus
by Paul Binder
  Balance : Nik Walenda
Nik Wallenda
Balance: A Story of Faith, Family, and Life on the Line
by Nik Wallenda
     
The Last of The Wallendas
The Last of the Wallendas:
by Delilah Wallenda
Nan DeVincentis Hayes
 

Queen of the Air
Lillian Leitzel
Queen of the Air: A True Story of Love and Tragedy at the Circus
by Dean N. Jensen

     
From Circus Dream to Three-Ring Reality
From Circus Dream to Three-Ring Reality
by Liliane Parbot-Johnson
  You Like it? I Do It Again. The Dieter Tasso Story, as told to
Ron Dentinger
You Like it? I Do It Again.
The Dieter Tasso Story,
as told to Ron Dentinger
     
A Balanced Life
by Johnny Yong
A Balanced Life
by Johnny Yong
 

Circus Buffoon by Danny Chapman
Circus Buffoon
by Danny Chapman

     
Balancing Act by Sarah Chapman
Balancing Act:
Memoir of a Florida Youth
by Sarah Chapman
 

Balancing Act: Secrets of a Circus Aerialist

Balancing Act:
Secrets of a Circus Aerialist
Paperback – March 23, 2017
     
Simply Sarah: A Circus Girl's Cookbook
Simply Sarah
(A Circus Girl's Cookbook)
by Sarah Chapman
  The Circus Age
The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top
by Janet M. Davis
     
Reggie! Ringling's First Black Clown by Donald Hepner Curtis Roseman
Reggie!
Ringling's First Black Clown
by Mr. Donald Hepner (Author)
Mr. Curtis Roseman (Contributor)
  Topsy by Michael Daly
Topsy: The Startling Story of the Crooked-Tailed Elephant, P. T. Barnum, and the American Wizard, Thomas Edison
by Michael Daly
     

Jumbo: This Being the True Story of the Greatest Elephant in the World
Jumbo: This Being the True Story of the Greatest Elephant in the World
by Paul Chambers

  Jumbo: The Unauthorised Biography of a Victorian Sensation by John Sutherland
Jumbo: The Unauthorised Biography of a Victorian Sensation
by John Sutherland
     

Jumbo's Keeper: The autobiography of Matthew Scott and his biography of P.T. Barnum's great elephant Jumbo

Jumbo's Keeper:
The autobiography of Matthew Scott
and his biography of
P.T. Barnum's
great elephant Jumbo

 

Circus elephant Modoc

Modoc: The True Story of
the Greatest Elephant That
Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer

     

Pictorial History of Performing Horses
A Pictorial History of Performing Horses:
by Charles Philip Fox

  En Route to the Great Eastern Circus by William L. Slout
En Route to the Great Eastern Circus
by William L. Slout
     
Lost Circuses of Ohio Paperback
by Conrade C. Hinds
Lost Circuses of Ohio Paperback
by Conrade C. Hinds
  The Wonders
The Wonders: The Extraordinary Performers Who Transformed the Victorian Age by John Woolf
The Wonders:
The Extraordinary Performers Who
Transformed the Victorian Age
by John Woolf
     

Circus Mania: The Ultimate Book for Anyone Who Ever Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus
Circus Mania: The Ultimate Book for Anyone Who Ever Dreamed of Running
Away with the Circus

  The Circus: A Visual History  by Pascal Jacob
The Circus: A Visual History
by Pascal Jacob
     

Step Right This Way - The Photographs of Edward J. Kelty
Step Right This Way: The: The Photographs of Edward J. Kelty
by Edward J. Kelty
Miles Barth
Alan M. Siegel
Hoagland, Edward

  Ward Hall King of the Sideshow!
Ward Hall
King of the Sideshow!
by Tim O'Brien
     

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South
by Beth Macy
Truevine: Two Brothers,
a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest:
A True Story of the Jim Crow South
by Beth Macy

  Circus and the City: New York, 1793-2010 by Matthew Wittmann
Circus and the City: New York, 1793-2010
by Matthew Wittmann
     

The Bloomington-Normal Circus Legacy: The Golden Age of Aerialists
The Bloomington-Normal Circus Legacy: The Golden Age of Aerialists
by Maureen Brunsdale

  Two Hundred Years of the American Circus by Tom Ogden
Two Hundred Years of the American Circus: From Aba-Daba to the Zoppe-Zavatta Troupe
by Tom Ogden
     

American Circus: An Illustrated History
American Circus:
An Illustrated History
by John Culhane

  Sawdust & Spangles Stories & Secrets of the Circus
Sawdust & Spangles Stories & Secrets of the Circus
by W.C. Coup
     

American Circus Posters
American Circus Posters
(Dover Fine Art, History of Art)
by Charles Philip Fox

  Step Right Up
Step Right Up!: The Adventure of Circus in America
by Lavahn G. Hoh
     

The Circus 1870s - 1950s
The Circus Book: 1870-1950
by Dominique Jando and Linda Granfield

  Traveling Showman
Traveling showmen: The American circus before the Civil War
by Stuart Thayer
     

From Barnum & Bailey to Feld: The Creative Evolution of the Greatest Show on Earth
From Barnum & Bailey to Feld: The Creative Evolution of the Greatest Show on Earth
by Ernest Albrecht

  Clowns: In conversation with modern masters
Clowns: In conversation with modern masters
by Ezra LeBank and David Bridel
     

Life Is A Circus
by Shirley Carrol O'Conner

Life Is A Circus
by Shirley Carrol O'Conner

  The Greatest Shows on Earth: A History of the Circus
by Linda Simon
The Greatest Shows on Earth: A History of the Circus
by Linda Simon
     


Detour On An Elephant: A Year Dancing with The Greatest Show on Earth
by Barbara File Marangon
Detour On An Elephant: A Year Dancing with The Greatest Show on Earth
by Barbara File Marangon

  Norma I. Quintana: Circus: A Traveling Life
Circus: A Traveling Life
by Norma Quintana
     

The American Circus by Susan Weber
The American Circus
by Susan Weber

  The Big Tent: The Traveling Circus in Georgia by Gregory Renoff
The Big Tent: The Traveling Circus in Georgia
by Gregory Renoff
     

Life in a Three-Ring Circus: Posters and Interviews by Sharon L. Smith
Life in a Three-Ring Circus: Posters and Interviews
by Sharon L. Smith

  I love you honey, but the season's over by Connie Clausen
I love you honey, but the season's over
by Connie Clausen
     

Spangles, Elephants, Violets & Me: the Circus Inside Out by Victoria B. Cristiani Rossi
Spangles, Elephants, Violets & Me: the Circus Inside Out
by Victoria B. Cristiani Rossi

 

Beneath the Big Top: A Social History of the Circus in Britain

Beneath the Big Top: A Social History of the Circus in Britain

     

Agnes Lake Hickok:  Queen of the Circus,  Wife of a Legend
Agnes Lake Hickok:
Queen of the Circus,
Wife of a Legend

  The Circus That Ran Away with a  Jesuit Priest by Nick Weber
The Circus That Ran Away with a
Jesuit Priest by Nick Weber
     
Big Top Typewriter: My Inside Adventures through the World of Circus, by David Lewis Hammarstrom.
Big Top Typewriter:
My Inside Adventures through
the World of Circus,
by David Lewis Hammarstrom.
 

Circus elephant Modoc

Modoc: The True Story of
the Greatest Elephant That
Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer

     

Sideshow Books

Click on a link below for a synopsis and ordering information.

     

Ward Hall King of the Sideshow!
Ward Hall
King of the Sideshow!
by Tim O'Brien

  sideshow freaks drew friedman
Drew Friedman's
Sideshow Freaks
by Drew Friedman
     

Carny Sideshows
by Tony Gangi
Carny Sideshows
by Tony Gangi

  Freak Sideshow Banner Art
Freak Show:
Sideshow Banner Art
by Gideon Bosker
     

Circus and Carnival Ballyhoo
Circus and Carnival Ballyhoo Sideshow Freaks, Jabbers and Blade Box Queens
by A. W Stencell

  American Sideshow
American Sideshow
by Marc Hartzman
     

Tattooed Lady
The Tattooed Lady: A History
by Amelia Klem Osterud

  sideshow howard bone
Side Show: My Life with Geeks, Freaks and Vagabonds in the Carny Trade
by Howard Bone
     

shocked and amazed james taylor
James Taylor's Shocked and Amazed: On & Off the Midway
by James Taylor

  Fraek Show Robert Bogdan
Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit
by Robert Bogdan
     

 

Seeing is Believing
Seeing Is Believing: America's Sideshows
by A W Stencell

  freaks geeks and strange girls
Freaks, Geeks, And Strange Girls
by Teddy Varndell
     

Freak Babylon: An Illustrated History of Teratology and Freakshows 
Freak Babylon: An Illustrated History of Teratology and Freakshows
by Jack Hunter

 

Carny Folk

Carny Folk
by Francine Homberger

     

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts. By Tessa Fontaine

The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts.
By Tessa Fontaine

  Secrets of the Sideshows by Joe Nickell
Secrets of the Sideshows
by Joe Nickell
     

Freaks by Daniel Mannix
Freaks
by Daniel Mannix

  Conjoined Twins Millie-Christine McKoy and Daisy and Violet Hilton
Conjoined Twins Millie-Christine McKoy and Daisy and Violet Hilton
by Linda Frost
     

Pickled Punks & Girlie Shows: A Life Spent on the Midways of America by Rick West
Pickled Punks &
Girlie Shows: A Life Spent on
the Midways of America
by Rick West

  Peter Hennen's Hell's Belles: From Gorilla Girls to Freak Babies
Peter Hennen's Hell's Belles:
From Gorilla Girls
to Freak Babies

 

 

List of Citcus Movies

Click Here For Our Selection of
Circus Movies and DVDs

 

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This page updated November 05, 2021