Phineas T. Barnum's Influence On American Culture

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America has been influenced by many people, inventions, and cultural phenomenons since it’s confederation in 1776. Phineas T. Barnum has influenced much of mass-entertainment since coming to America in 1834 at age sixteen (Harris 13), he has vastly changed what it means to promote and entertain in American Culture. His knowledge of what people want and how to make people think they want what he had, was amazing. He constantly fooled people and had a way of making the customers come back. James Cook argues that Barnum’s fascination with the entertainment business began in July 1835 while reading a newspaper article about Joice Heth, a one-hundred sixty-one year old maid of General Augustine Washington and nanny of later President George Washington. Cook claims this was the start of “mass-scale consumer entertainment” (Cook 9). This was the beginning of promotion and advertisement for the modern period, Barnum’s style of advertising would have a long-lasting effect on American culture and modern society, and prove to be the most effective way to advertise to large-scale audiences, promoting the mass-entertainment and mass-media…show more content…
His community during his adolescence greatly contributed to his work ethic, and his high energy. These two characteristics helped Barnum succeed in the entertainment industry, and encouraged innovation within the mass-entertainment and culture industry. Many of Barnum’s practices are still considered the backbone of the media industry, including large amounts of media coverage, interviews, and more which he practiced with varaciousness. Barnum paved the way for other entertainment personnel to build upon what he created in the media, and brought about mass culture as it is known today. Decidedly, without P.T. Barnum’s fortitude, media would not be as large and extensive as it is

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