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Spectacle

The Astonishing Life of Ota Benga
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
4 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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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 members say

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  • Overall
    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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.