By Joe Nickell
The carnival sideshows of the previous have left in the back of a desirable legacy of poser and intrigue. The secrets and techniques at the back of such bold feats as fire-eating and sword swallowing and peculiar exhibitions of human oddities as "Alligator Boys" and "Gorilla women" nonetheless stay, purely grudgingly if ever given up by means of performers and carnival pros. operating along the performers, Joe Nickell blows the lid off those mysteries of the halfway. the writer unearths the constitution of the exhibits, particular tools at the back of the performances, and the showmen's strategies for recruiting performers and attracting crowds. He additionally strains the heritage of such spectacles, from historic Egyptian magic and road festivals to the golden age of P.T. Barnum's sideshows. With revealing perception into the private lives of the boys and ladies billed as freaks, Nickell unfolds the alluring tale of the halfway convey.