• Spectacle

  • The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga
  • By: Pamela Newkirk
  • Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Spectacle  By  cover art

Spectacle

By: Pamela Newkirk
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
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Publisher's Summary

In 1904 Ota Benga, a young Congolese "pygmy" - a person of petite stature - arrived from central Africa and was featured in an anthropology exhibit at the St. Louis World's Fair. Two years later the New York Zoological Gardens displayed him in its Monkey House, caging the slight 103-pound, 4-foot 11-inch tall man with an orangutan. The attraction became an international sensation, drawing thousands of New Yorkers and commanding headlines across the nation and in Europe.

Spectacle explores the circumstances of Ota Benga's captivity, the international controversy it inspired, and his efforts to adjust to American life. It also reveals why, decades later, the man most responsible for his exploitation would be hailed as his friend and savior while those who truly fought for Ota have been banished to the shadows of history.

©2015 Pamela Newkirk (P)2015 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Spectacle

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

hard pass

the story, the truth, is very interesting... and absolutely disgusting, but the narrator is grating and the story is barely about benga. and you can tell the author is a professor because the book reads like a textbook and not a novel.

1 person found this helpful

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A fascinating story but...

This is a comprehensive social, "scientific", political, psychological account that illuminates the minds of thinkers and divines in the late 19th century. Well researched and well written, it is worth the time. However, the voice of the narrator (pitch, timbre) nearly made me send the book back. She is not easy to listen to. I am glad I did not return it because the experience was both educational and intriguing, but the voice nearly did me in.

1 person found this helpful

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Dark History uncovered

We again experience sadness from true facts exposed. Thanks for your research well done book.

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sign-up. view

this was more on the people around him, and what little info you could find on him very sad, life exam to dig-up.

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It's Bengal :: One of the good ones...

This is one of the good ones. Read it! What a shameful history that still part of our present. Pamela Newkirk has done a phenomenal job in documenting and bringing to life... Ota Benga a young man that should be remembered.

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Spectacle

A very touching story. Well researched and written. It definitively paves the way for similar books to be written to more highlight the tragic life of Ota Benga.