This is the story of P.T. Barnum, the world-renowned showman, written by the man himself. It tells of "his early life and struggles; bold ventures and brilliant successes; wonderful career in which he made and lost fortunes, captivated kings, queens, nobility, and millions of people; his genius, wit, eloquence, public benefactor, [and] life as a citizen." It is "a remarkable story, abounding in fascinating incidents, thrilling episodes, and marvelous achievements." Barnum wrote, "That my narrative is interspersed with amusing incidents, and even the recital of some very practical jokes, is simply because my natural disposition impels me to look upon the brighter side of life, and I hope my humorous experiences will entertain my readers as much as they were enjoyed by myself."