The 1933 Chicago World's Fair

The 1933 Chicago World's Fair : A Century of Progress

3.56 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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Chicago's 1933 world's fair set a new direction for international expositions. Earlier fairs had exhibited technological advances, but Chicago's fair organizers used the very idea of progress to buoy national optimism during the Depression's darkest years. Orchestrated by business leaders and engineers, almost all former military men, the fair reflected a business-military-engineering model that envisioned a promising future through science and technology's application to everyday life. But not everyone at Chicago's 1933 exposition had abandoned notions of progress that entailed social justice and equality, recognition of ethnicity and gender, and personal freedom and expression. The fair's motto, "Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Conforms," was challenged by iconoclasts such as Sally Rand, whose provocative fan dance became a persistent symbol of the fair, as well as a handful of others, including African Americans, ethnic populations and foreign nationals, groups of working women, and even well-heeled socialites. Cheryl R. Ganz offers the stories of fair planners and participants who showcased education, industry, and entertainment to sell optimism during the depths of the Great Depression. This engaging history also features eighty-six photographs--nearly half of which are full color--of key locations, exhibits, and people, as well as authentic ticket stubs, postcards, pamphlets, posters, and other more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 177.8 x 251.46 x 15.24mm | 662.24g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252078527
  • 9780252078521
  • 1,315,364

Review quote

"A highly analytical social and cultural history of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair containing many wonderful illustrations."--Left History "A formidable history. . . . This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the fair not simply from the perspective of its architecture . . . but from the perspective of women's history, ethnic history, and the social and political background of organizers."--Indiana Magazine of History "With graceful prose and beautiful illustrations, Ganz demonstrates the fair's central themes of modernist architectural design, financial economy, and material progress."--The Journal of American History "Engaging social and cultural history."--Illinois Times "Well researched and beautifully illustrated. . . . This will be an eye-opening book for people who care to learn more about how, during the dark days of the Great Depression, the political economy was reinvented through mass culture, and how, as a result, Americans came to see themselves in a new way."--Journal of Illinois History "This book on Chicago's second big show is a welcome addition to world's fairs collections. Recommended."--Choiceshow more

About Cheryl R. Ganz

Cheryl R. Ganz is the chief curator of philately at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Washington, D.C. She was the curator and designer of the "Pots of Promise" exhibition for the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, and is the coeditor of Pots of Promise: Mexicans and Pottery at Hull-House, more

Rating details

16 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 25% (4)
4 25% (4)
3 31% (5)
2 19% (3)
1 0% (0)
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