In the 1970s a group of men and women with few ties to the circus emerged from the counterculture revolution and took to the streets, where they discovered how to entertain an audience. At a time when the Big Top was beset by shabby excess, escalating costs, and competition from movies and TV, the young performers dedicated themselves to skill and intimacy, beginning the movement Ernest Albrecht describes as the "new American circus", a reinvention of the circus as an authentic form of art. The first - and most radical - aspect of this movement was its revival of the traditions of the great one-ring shows of Europe and Russia. Focusing on artistry, not spectacle, the new American circus incorporated such allied arts as music and dance and embraced a notion of ensemble that was compatible with the communal ethic of the seventies. Working from interviews and other primary sources, Albrecht traces this history to the present (including current controversies over animal performers and efforts to secure subsidies), sketching the leading players in the new circus and profiling the shows they founded.Albrecht, Ernest is the author of 'New American Circus' with ISBN 9780813013640 and ISBN 081301364X.