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Joe Exotic channels the spirit of America's 19th-century tiger kings

By Madeline Steiner, Post-Doctoral Fellow of History, University of South Carolina
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“I am never gonna financially recover from this,” grumbles Joe Exotic, the subject of Netflix’s “Tiger King” documentary series.

Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, blithely utters the line after one of his employees has been brutally mauled by a tiger, making him seem comically indifferent to the man’s suffering.

This lack of compassion isn’t unique to Joe Exotic. As a self-proclaimedThe Conversation


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