PT Barnum photograph
April 14, 2018 By Technology Bethel Off

Periodic: A New Monthly Blog Feature

An occasional review of items that caught our eye in BPL’s magazine subscriptions.

How Hucksters Make Suckers of Us All

Most Bethelites are familiar with our hometown celebrity, P. T. Barnum, and have heard about a sucker being born every minute. That saying is no less true now than it was when Mr. Barnum kept the crowds moving through his American Museum by sending them…”to the egress!”

In the March/April 2018 issue of The Saturday Evening Post, Jennifer Mercieca writes:

In America, nothing [still] succeeds like excess….Barnum’s story is more broadly about America’s fascination with hyperbole and humbug….Barnum’s advertising strategy depended [in his words] ‘upon getting people to think, and talk, and become curious and excited over and about the rare spectacle.’

Barnum said of himself that he was aware of the great power of the public press, and his clever use of promotion – advertising, stunts, word-of-mouth – seems to have paved the way for everything from Madison Avenue to Twitter!

Adapted from The Saturday Evening Post (March/April 2018). Magazines are located in the Quiet Reading Area on the second floor.