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The 1933 Chicago World's Fair: A Century of Progress Paperback – January 6, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

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"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."--Choice


"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


"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

Book Description

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 other exceptional individuals, 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 items.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1st Edition edition (January 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252078527
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252078521
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #749,458 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cheryl R. Ganz is Curator of Philately Emerita at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. She has curated exhibits, written for the museum website (postalmuseum.si.edu), and co-authored Delivering Hope: FDR & Stamps of the Great Depression (2009) and Fire & Ice: Hindenburg and Titanic (2012). Her area of expertise is mail flown by zeppelins. Ganz earned her Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Chicago in United States History and identifies as a social cultural historian. She authored The 1933 Chicago World's Fair: A Century of Progress (hardcover 2008, softbound 2012), co-edited and contributed to Pots of Promise: Mexicans and Pottery at Hull-House, 1920-40 (2004), authored Favorite Finds (2013) and Pacific Exchange: China & U.S. Mail (2014). Her latest book is Every Stamp Tells a Story: The National Philatelic Collection (Dec 2014). She received the Smithsonian Institution 2011 Secretary's Research Prize for The 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anyone interested in the history of world fairs.
Reading this book transports you back to 1933 Chicago. The explanations of the politics of the time are outstanding. I cold not pu it down. The 1933 Chicago World's Fair: A Century of Progress
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Ganz has done a remarkable job of recreating this fair and bringing to life the characters (and I mean characters) that made it the most successful World's fair - ever.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lovely book and no issues with delivery. Thanks.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First rate book on the Century of Progress.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was not only easy to order but enjoyable and the product was more than I expected for a used book.
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