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How the Arabian Nights Inspired the American Dream 1791–1935$
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Susan Nance

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832745

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807894057_nance

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Arab Athleticism and the Exoticization of the American Dream, 1870–1920

Arab Athleticism and the Exoticization of the American Dream, 1870–1920

Chapter:
(p.111) Chapter 4 Arab Athleticism and the Exoticization of the American Dream, 1870–1920
Source:
How the Arabian Nights Inspired the American Dream 1791–1935
Author(s):

Susan Nance

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807894057_nance.8

This chapter discusses how foreign-born people added personae of Eastern athleticism to the American repertoire after 1900. It describes the North African and Syrian men who fared best in getting over as obviously male, powerful, and exotic in American showbusiness. In the guise of Arab horsemen and self-starting acrobats in traveling circuses, Wild West shows, and vaudeville, they offered portrayals of Arab athleticism that flattered American patriotism in comprehensibly exotic modes.

Keywords:   Eastern athleticism, North African men, Syrian men, vaudeville

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