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The World of Tomorrow: The 1939 New York World's Fair Hardcover – November, 1988
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240 pp. with nearly 500 illustrations from photographs. Bound in publisher's original full blue cloth with the title stamped in gilt on the spine. Book is fine in a fine unclipped dust jacket.
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Top Customer Reviews
THE BOOK WAS THE BRAINCHILD OF '39 NYWF collector & historian, LARRY ZIM, and was to be published in conjuction with the 50th Anniversary of that fantastic event in April, 1988. Sadly, Mr. Zim passed away on April 7, 1987, shortly after completing the First Draft of the book. At that time, it was then going to be completed by his business partner, MEL LERNER. But Mr. Lerner also died, January 7, 1988, and it was then up to HERBERT ROLFES who, like Zim & Lerner, was a major collector/historian on the Fair, to add to the book with his vast collection of Fair Memorabilia in order to get this beautiful volume finished on time. And, he did it perfectly.
Whether you know anything about the 1939 NYWF or not, the book is so well structured, and is so chronologically, culturally, and, historically important, that it should be required reading at all High Schools, Colleges, and, Universities. Its Hardcover, large design (12x9x1), 3 pounds, 240 Pages, contain 13 Chapters...each filled with info, some rare never-before-seen photos, authentic stories & memories of those who were there, and gives the reader a feeling of having been there while it was going on. It will hold your interest without even trying !
This book is so thorough that it covers every imaginable part of this monumental 1939 New York World's Fair...from its inception, to the tearing down of the last building. The interesting thing here is learning how all of the businessmen, the various countries that signed-on to the project, the major corporations that built exhibits, and, the engineers, designers, and, workmen, all pulled-together to make this spectacular event become a reality !
AND, if you're a 1939 NYWF Collector as I am, Herbert Rolfes Merchandise & Collectibles Section takes-up all of Chapter 13, runs from Pages 195 to 235 and is a visual delight ! I have many of the items shown there, but some I'd never seen before...and just the sight of all of these being shown at one-place-at-one-time is truly mind-blowing !
Words of the common man, the "Fairgoers" themselves, are added to the book, as are the thoughts on the man responsible for heading the Fair, Grover Whalen, who put the idea into motion to begin with. Was he doing all of this as part of a massive "ego trip", to further his already established status in New York, or, was he really dedicated to the Fair itself ? And why was Robert Moses, the New York City Parks Comimssioner, so against the Fair that the only place he would let it be built was on the site of a landfill...a garbage dump ? Questions to ponder and seek out in the Chapters of this remarkable book.
The 1939 New York World's Fair, that had opened with such hope and promise on its first day in April of 1939, closed on October 27, 1940 without making a profit, and with the World already at War in Europe, and America on the brink of entering that War just one year later...sadly, the Fair limped into the History Books without achieving the "hope and promise" it so valiantly sought.
QUOTING FROM PAGE 13 of this honestly-written classic, to add to what I have written above: "Nonetheless, the (1939) New York World's Fair is remembered as the standard by which other fairs are judged...because it really was a triumphant event, brilliantly conceived on a colossal scale, that occured at a time when one great national trouble was ending and another had not quite begun."
Find a copy of "The World Of Tomorrow", by Larry Zim, Mel Lerner, and Herbert Rolfes, if you can, it belongs in the History Section of your Library. You may have to look for it...it's been out of print for awhile, but once you see it, read it, you will understand how important this book, and the information contained within it, is to the culture & history of that time-period here in America.
I use it as a coffee table book and get many comments on it.