When Charles S. Stratton was born in 1838, he seemed perfect in every way. But then he stopped growing. At age four, though a happy and mischievous child, he was just over two feet tall and weighed fifteen pounds--the exact size he had been as a seven-month-old baby. It was then that P. T. Barnum persuaded Charley's family to allow him to exhibit their son in his museum and tour him around the world as a curiosity. Tom Thumb, as Barnum dubbed him, was a natural performer. He became enormously popular and wealthy, more so than any other performer before him, in large part due to the marketing genius of Barnum. In this spirited biography--the first on its subject--George Sullivan recounts the fascinating adventures of the real Tom Thumb, and also raises challenging questions about what constitutes exploitation--both in the nineteenth century and today.
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Bonus content from Tom Thumb
When the 200th anniversary of P. T. Barnum's birth was being celebrated in July 2010, Tom Thumb's name was at the forefront once again. Tom was not quite five years old when, in 1842, Barnum first presented him at his American Museum, billing his as "the smallest person in the world that ever walked alone." He quickly became the best known of all of Barnum's countless "human curiosities." While Tom left Barnum's employ at the age of 18, the two remained lifelong friends.About the Author:
George Sullivan is a best-selling nonfiction author with more than 100 books to his credit, including highly accoladed Berenice Abbott, Photographer. He lives in New York City.
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