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Exit to Tomorrow: History of the Future, World's Fair Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933-2005 Hardcover – October 2, 2007

3.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paola Antonelli is Curator of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Andrew Garn is an award-winning photographer based in New York whose books include Subway Style, Bethlehem Steel, and The Houseboat Book. Udo Kultermann is a New York-based architectural historian and art historian, and author of over thirty-five books, including History of Art Theory, History of Art History, and Modern Architecture in Color. Stephen Van Dyk is the Librarian at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Library.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Universe; First Edition (US) First Printing edition (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789315319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789315311
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,993,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
An interesting though none too vigorous survey of thirteen world fairs and expositions. It really covers twelve in any detail because the 1942 Rome effort didn't get much passed the planning stage. Udo Kultermann provides a twenty page fairs overview describing the inspired origins of the 1851 Crystal Palace and 1889 Paris Fair which set the standard for future endeavors (incidentally, in my copy page twenty-one repeats three paragraphs from page nine).

Two Fairs, Chicago (1933/4) and New York (1939/40) probably deserve the extensive coverage they get in the book. Both occurred at trying times and projected a bright future courtesy of science and both had huge attendances. After the Second World War fairs gradually changed from mechanical and science oriented to the problems and suggested solutions facing man in the modern world. Whatever the theme any fair allowed designers and architects to indulge in fantasy for a few months before the structures were torn down. Fortunately there are still standing reminders of these past futures: the Atomium, Brussels (1958) the Seattle (1962) Space Needle, the Unisphere from New York (1964) or Moshe Sadie's Habitat from Montreal Expo (1967) for example.

The book's sub-title: World's Fairs Architecture, Design, Fashion 1933--2005 is basically covered pictorially with two hundred photos or more. I thought this had an inherent editorial weakness because they are mostly PR shots and unfortunately the quality various enormously. I think a much more rigorous photo selection would have helped by deleting several of the soft focus or confusing images. Strangely there is a major omission: none of the Fairs have a site map.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked looking at the pictures, but I missed having more text. The text is only intros to each fair, and to be honest, what's there is bland, contradictory (more than one fair is credited with introducing television. for example) and there was even one page reprinted out of sync. Still, the pictures are mostly new to me on some of the less well-written-up expos. So, good for filling a collection, not a starting point.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Though there are some interesting photos and illustrations in this book the historical references in the test contain glaring errors. The Chicago Century of Progress Exposition was not held in Jackson Park, site of the World's Colombian Exposition of 1893 as claimed by the text It was built on reclaimed land in Lake Michigan near downtown.

I could detail more errors but this is a review not a fact check, something that should have been done prior to publishing.

The rest of the text is minimal and cursory for a book claiming to be a "History of the Future...". If you are looking for interesting pictures, there are a few here that are not available elsewhere, but most are postcards and other commonly available images. The short shrift given some of the fairs like 1937 fair in Paris and more obviously the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco really detract from the book.

Overall, it's a picture book with words thrown in to fill space.
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