Come step right up to the old-fashioned magic of the American circus. In years past, tightrope walkers, trapeze swingers and fire eaters criss-crossed the country giving visitors a spectacular reminder that anything is possible -- even our wildest dreams.
Almost as dazzling as the tricks themselves are the retro posters that advertised the events, however. Taschen's new book, "The Circus. 1870s-1950s" combines photos of performers on and off stage with eye-popping images of the characters you'll encounter when visiting the spectacle; you'll flip through a history almost too colorful to be real. Now you can finally determine whether you really want to run away to the circus! (Some time-traveling is required.)