Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga

3.54 avg rating
( 301 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780062201003: Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga

An award-winning journalist reveals a little-known and shameful episode in American history, when an African man was used as a human zoo exhibit—a shocking story of racial prejudice, science, and tragedy in the early years of the twentieth century in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Devil in the White City, and Medical Apartheid.

In 1904, Ota Benga, a young Congolese “pygmy”—a person of petite stature—arrived from central Africa and was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World’s Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe.

Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga’s captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history. Using primary historical documents, Pamela Newkirk traces Ota’s tragic life, from Africa to St. Louis to New York, and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived out the remainder of his short life.

Illuminating this unimaginable event, Spectacle charts the evolution of science and race relations in New York City during the early years of the twentieth century, exploring this racially fraught era for Africa-Americans and the rising tide of political disenfranchisement and social scorn they endured, forty years after the end of the Civil War. Shocking and compelling Spectacle is a masterful work of social history that raises difficult questions about racial prejudice and discrimination that continue to haunt us today.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Back Cover:

An award-winning journalist reveals a little-known and shameful episode in American history, when an African man was used as a zoo exhibit—a shocking story of racial prejudice, science, and tragedy in the early years of the twentieth century.

Ota Benga, a young Congolese man, was featured as an exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair. Two years later, in 1906, the Bronx Zoo displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, four-foot eleven-inch man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe.

Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga's captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to his life in America. It also uncovers, decades later, the flagrant deception that allowed the man most responsible for Ota's exploitation to be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota's freedom have been banished to the shadows of history. Using primary historical documents, Pam-ela Newkirk traces Ota's tragic path, from Africa to St. Louis to New York and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived out the remainder of his short life.

Illuminating this unfathomable series of events, Spectacle simultaneously charts the evolution of science, elite men and institutions, and racial ideologies. It also explores New York City during the early years of the twentieth century, a racially fraught era that led to a rising tide of political disenfranchisement and social scorn for African Americans. Shocking and compelling, Spectacle is a masterful work of social history that raises difficult questions about racial prejudice and discrimination that continue to haunt us today.

About the Author:

Pamela Newkirk is a native New Yorker and award-winning journalist who spent ten years working as a reporter and writer before joining the journalism faculty at New York University. Her articles exploring race, media, art, and culture have been published widely, including in The New York Times, The Washinton Post, Artnews, and The Nation. Her first book, Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media (1999) won the National Press Club Award for media criticism.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 25.99
US$ 14.78

Convert Currency

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 160 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 2016 NAACP Image Award Winner Winner of the 2016 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Nonfiction An award-winning journalist reveals a little-known and shameful episode in American history, when an African man was used as a human zoo exhibit-a shocking story of racial prejudice, science, and tragedy in the early years of the twentieth century in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Devil in the White City, and Medical Apartheid. In 1904, Ota Benga, a young Congolese pygmy -a person of petite stature-arrived from central Africa and was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World s Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe. Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga s captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history. Using primary historical documents, Pamela Newkirk traces Ota s tragic life, from Africa to St. Louis to New York, and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived out the remainder of his short life. Illuminating this unimaginable event, Spectacle charts the evolution of science and race relations in New York City during the early years of the twentieth century, exploring this racially fraught era for Africa-Americans and the rising tide of political disenfranchisement and social scorn they endured, forty years after the end of the Civil War. Shocking and compelling Spectacle is a masterful work of social history that raises difficult questions about racial prejudice and discrimination that continue to haunt us today. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062201003

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Newkirk, Pamela
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97800622010030000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.79
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States (2015)
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2015. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 160 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 2016 NAACP Image Award Winner An award-winning journalist reveals a little-known and shameful episode in American history, when an African man was used as a human zoo exhibit-a shocking story of racial prejudice, science, and tragedy in the early years of the twentieth century in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Devil in the White City, and Medical Apartheid. In 1904, Ota Benga, a young Congolese pygmy -a person of petite stature-arrived from central Africa and was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World s Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe. Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga s captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history. Using primary historical documents, Pamela Newkirk traces Ota s tragic life, from Africa to St. Louis to New York, and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived out the remainder of his short life. Illuminating this unimaginable event, Spectacle charts the evolution of science and race relations in New York City during the early years of the twentieth century, exploring this racially fraught era for Africa-Americans and the rising tide of political disenfranchisement and social scorn they endured, forty years after the end of the Civil War. Shocking and compelling Spectacle is a masterful work of social history that raises difficult questions about racial prejudice and discrimination that continue to haunt us today. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780062201003

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by Amistad (2015)
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Book Deals
(Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad, 2015. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "This is an explosive, heartbreaking book. It unfolds with the grace of an E.L. Doctorow novel, and spins forward with the urgency of a wild tabloid story.". Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_006220100X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 17.87
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Harper Collins Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 006220100X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.39
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by Amistad 2015-07-02|NU-GRD-05171495 (2015)
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 4
Seller
Chiron Media
(Wallingford, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad 2015-07-02|NU-GRD-05171495, 2015. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 9780062201003. Bookseller Inventory # NU-GRD-05171495

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.21
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.70
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by Amistad (2015)
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad, 2015. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 006220100X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.33
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Spectacle: The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga, Pamela Newkirk, An award-winning journalist reveals a little-known and shameful episode in American history, when an African man was used as a human zoo exhibit-a shocking story of racial prejudice, science, and tragedy in the early years of the twentieth century in the tradition of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Devil in the White City, and Medical Apartheid. In 1904, Ota Benga, a young Congolese "pygmy"-a person of petite stature-arrived from central Africa and was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair. Two years later, the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines from across the nation and Europe. Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga's captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior, while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history. Using primary historical documents, Pamela Newkirk traces Ota's tragic life, from Africa to St. Louis to New York, and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lived out the remainder of his short life. Illuminating this unimaginable event, Spectacle charts the evolution of science and race relations in New York City during the early years of the twentieth century, exploring this racially fraught era for Africa-Americans and the rising tide of political disenfranchisement and social scorn they endured, forty years after the end of the Civil War. Shocking and compelling Spectacle is a masterful work of social history that raises difficult questions about racial prejudice and discrimination that continue to haunt us today. Bookseller Inventory # B9780062201003

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 12.02
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.35
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by Amistad (2015)
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 4
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad, 2015. Book Condition: New. Num Pages: 336 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: HB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 165 x 240 x 35. Weight in Grams: 494. . 2015. First Edition. Hardcover. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780062201003

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Newkirk, Pamela
Published by Amistad
ISBN 10: 006220100X ISBN 13: 9780062201003
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 4
Seller
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Amistad. Book Condition: New. Num Pages: 336 pages, illustrations. BIC Classification: HB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 165 x 240 x 35. Weight in Grams: 494. . 2015. First Edition. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780062201003

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 21.14
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book