1939, the Lost World of the Fair

1939, the Lost World of the Fair

Book - 1995
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Baker & Taylor
Offers a compelling portrait of the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, examining its pivotal post-Depression and pre-World War II climate and citing its role in history and international relations. 30,000 first printing. Tour.

Blackwell North Amer
In 1939, exhausted by a decade-long depression, Americans faced a brewing European conflict that would prove to be the most destructive war in history. At this dark juncture, a World's Fair was held in New York City that evoked such acute hope in its promise of a glorious future that a whole generation was drawn to it and transformed by its vision. People came from all over the world to see the fair, and it was not uncommon for many to attend ten, twenty, even thirty times. There, the awed spectators gazed at a utopian world of superhighways, spacious suburbs and other technological wonders. As David Gelernter brilliantly recounts in 1939, it was a future that has largely come to pass, but one that, in its realization, has drained us of the very pride and hope that were so palpable at the fair itself. In 1939, Gelernter gives us a virtual reality picture of the World's Fair and the passionate feelings it still evokes in those who were there. In entering that picture, we gain a clearer understanding of why our future stands in such dark contrast to the glittering utopian vision of 1939.

& Taylor

Offers a portrait of the 1939 World's Fair in New York City, examining its pivotal post-Depression and pre-World War II climate and citing its role in history and international relations

Publisher: New York : Free Press, c1995
ISBN: 9780028740027
Branch Call Number: 909.8207 GEL
Characteristics: xii, 418 p., [12] p.of plates : ill., map ; 22 cm


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May 05, 2005

Read these words and try to imagine where you are: Futurama, Four Freedoms, Lagoon of Nations, Trylon and Perisphere, Democracity, Road of Tomorrow. Full of hope these words implied a better future. In fact you will be entering a place where they were ?Building the world of tomorrow?. Welcome to the 1939 worlds fair! Jammed between the Great Depression and the onset of WWII, it is hard to imagine these people would have any hope left! But they do, and in a way that we do not anymore. The population of the United States in 1940 was 131.4 million, NYC 7.38 million and where the fair was located it was 1.29 million. Many people made $10 a week. And it was a whopping 75 cents to get in at a time when the NY Times cost 3 cents. This book describes in great detail the work and the planning that went into one of the greatest worlds fairs ever. Blending in the memories of dozens of fair goers the story that is taken from these interviews, creates a page turning story. These interviews relate that many people, some who visited the fair 40 times or more, remember the fair for the rest of their lives and the wonders they encountered there. These include regular American commercial TV broadcast that started the day the fair opened (sets seen everywhere at the site), the fax machine, nylons, fluorescent lighting, long distance phone calls, free ways, and much more. In the end the Fair closed bankrupt. Today all we have are pictures, and memories and the site remains bereft of its potential, most of the fair just a distant memory.


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