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Ringlingville USA: The Stupendous Story of Seven Siblings and Their Stunning Circus Success

Ringlingville USA: The Stupendous Story of Seven Siblings and Their Stunning Circus Success
Ringlingville USA: The Stupendous Story of Seven Siblings and Their Stunning Circus Success
Hardcover: $45.00
264 pp, illustrated, photos
ISBN: 9780870203541

Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press

For Trade, Library, and Wholesale
Price: $45.00
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By Jerry Apps

The Ringling Brothers began their business under the most modest of circumstances and through hard work, business savvy, and some luck created the largest, most famous circus in the world. They became wealthy men, one fifty-cent admission ticket at a time. Ringlingville USA chronicles the brothers' journey from immigrant poverty to enduring glory as the kings of the circus world. The Ringlings and their circus were last studied in depth over four decades ago. Now, for the first time, the brothers' detailed financial records and personal correspondence are available to researchers.

Jerry Apps weaves together that information with newspaper accounts, oral histories, colorful anecdotes, and stunning circus ephemera and photos, many never before been published, to illuminate the importance of the Ringlings' accomplishments. He describes how the Ringling Brothers confronted the challenges of taxation, war, economic pressure, changing technology, and personal sorrows to find their place in history. The brothers emerge as complex characters whose ambition, imagination, and pure hucksterism fueled the phenomenon that was the Ringling Brothers' Circus.



Jerry Apps is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the award-winning author of 50 books on rural life. He is featured in three hour-long TV documentaries, including the Emmy Award-winning Farm Winter. He and his wife divide their time between a home in Madison, Wis., and their farm, Roshara.