Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You've Never Heard Of

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9781586482398: Dan Rice: The Most Famous Man You've Never Heard Of
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Dan Rice had many lives. He was a pig presenter, a strongman, a lecturer, and a comic singer, all before joining the dazzling world of the circus. In 1855, he created Dan Rice's Great Show. Labeling himself the "Great American Humorist," he toured the country and spoke out on issues of the day before large crowds. Swept up in a new cult of celebrity, he rose to become one of the most famous—and infamous—men in America. He even ran for president. So why have so few people ever heard of Dan Rice? Propelled by an urge toward "refinement," American amusements began to stratify in the mid-19th century. The raucous antebellum jumble of performers, audiences, and forms split along a new performance hierarchy of high and low. Circus, though still vastly popular, became seen as lowbrow. In that changed world, Rice's aggressive humor and robust connection with a noisy, participatory audience became seen as crude—and worse—a civic threat.

David Carlyon weaves a remarkably rich portrait of turbulent times that raised one ambitious, creative man to glorious heights and then, embarrassed by its enthusiasm, buried him in sentimentality and finally oblivion.

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About the Author:

After graduating from Clown College, David Carlyon toured three years with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He has since worked as an actor, director, playwright and university professor. He was in the Army, has a Ph.D. in Theatre from Northwestern University and holds a Berkeley law degree. He lives in Larchmont, New York with his wife and two sons.

From Publishers Weekly:

Except in the works of political commentators, clowns and presidents hardly ever inhabit the same body. But Dan Rice perhaps the premiere clown and showman of 19th-century America was also a presidential candidate. This wonderfully appealing and constantly fascinating biography is not only a perceptive examination of Rice's life and times, but a serious and deeply researched look at the complex intersections among popular culture and politics, and the birth of a unique American character in the years before and after the Civil War. Born in 1823, Rice joined, as a dancer and jockey at the age of 13, the transitory, not very respectable world of traveling shows, and ran a "learned pig" routine in small towns (the pig could tell time and ascertain the character of audience members). He eventually made a name doing "nigero singing and dancing" blackface and by the 1850s became a major producer of popular circus events. By 1864 he was running for public office and ran for president in 1868. Carlyon, who has been a clown, actor, director and playwright and holds a Ph.D. in theater as well as a law degree from Berkeley, places Rice firmly in the spectacle of 19th-century popular culture. Covering such diverse topics as the Astor Place riots (which were caused by rival performances of Shakespeare), the birth of the clown as an American type who commented on politics, the sexualization of popular entertainment, the appropriation of African-American culture for white audiences, the regendering of popular culture after women's suffrage and many others, Carlyon has produced a masterful work of cultural and theater criticism that advances the literature as well as it entertains.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description PublicAffairs. Paperback. Condition: New. 528 pages. Dimensions: 8.9in. x 6.1in. x 1.1in.Dan Rice had many lives. He was a pig presenter, a strongman, a lecturer, and a comic singer, all before joining the dazzling world of the circus. In 1855, he created Dan Rices Great Show. Labeling himself the Great American Humorist, he toured the country and spoke out on issues of the day before large crowds. Swept up in a new cult of celebrity, he rose to become one of the most famousand infamousmen in America. He even ran for president. So why have so few people ever heard of Dan Rice Propelled by an urge toward refinement, American amusements began to stratify in the mid-19th century. The raucous antebellum jumble of performers, audiences, and forms split along a new performance hierarchy of high and low. Circus, though still vastly popular, became seen as lowbrow. In that changed world, Rices aggressive humor and robust connection with a noisy, participatory audience became seen as crudeand worsea civic threat. David Carlyon weaves a remarkably rich portrait of turbulent times that raised one ambitious, creative man to glorious heights and then, embarrassed by its enthusiasm, buried him in sentimentality and finally oblivion. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781586482398

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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Dan Rice had many lives. He was a pig presenter, a strongman, a lecturer, and a comic singer, all before joining the dazzling world of the circus. In 1855, he created Dan Rice s Great Show. Labeling himself the Great American humourist, he toured the country and spoke out on issues of the day before large crowds. Swept up in a new cult of celebrity, he rose to become one of the most famous,and infamous,men in America. He even ran for president. So why have so few people ever heard of Dan Rice? Propelled by an urge toward refinement, American amusements began to stratify in the mid-19th century. The raucous antebellum jumble of performers, audiences, and forms split along a new performance hierarchy of high and low. Circus, though still vastly popular, became seen as lowbrow. In that changed world, Rice s aggressive humour and robust connection with a noisy, participatory audience became seen as crude,and worse,a civic threat. David Carlyon weaves a remarkably rich portrait of turbulent times that raised one ambitious, creative man to glorious heights and then, embarrassed by its enthusiasm, buried him in sentimentality and finally oblivion. Seller Inventory # APC9781586482398

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Book Description INGRAM PUBLISHER SERVICES US, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Dan Rice had many lives. He was a pig presenter, a strongman, a lecturer, and a comic singer, all before joining the dazzling world of the circus. In 1855, he created Dan Rice s Great Show. Labeling himself the Great American humourist, he toured the country and spoke out on issues of the day before large crowds. Swept up in a new cult of celebrity, he rose to become one of the most famous,and infamous,men in America. He even ran for president. So why have so few people ever heard of Dan Rice? Propelled by an urge toward refinement, American amusements began to stratify in the mid-19th century. The raucous antebellum jumble of performers, audiences, and forms split along a new performance hierarchy of high and low. Circus, though still vastly popular, became seen as lowbrow. In that changed world, Rice s aggressive humour and robust connection with a noisy, participatory audience became seen as crude,and worse,a civic threat. David Carlyon weaves a remarkably rich portrait of turbulent times that raised one ambitious, creative man to glorious heights and then, embarrassed by its enthusiasm, buried him in sentimentality and finally oblivion. Seller Inventory # APC9781586482398

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