And the World’s Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count

An enticing and engrossing snapshot of one of (if not the) most recognizable landmarks in the world.  Author Jonnes brings together all of the tidbits and urban legends you’ve heard – and several you haven’t – to illustrate a vibrant moment in history. 

When Gustav Eiffel suggested to the committee for the Internationale Exposition that the centerpiece should be a large, iron, skeletal tower, more than a few were unconvinced.  Notably, many public figures insisted the  structure would be hideous.  A few even suggested it would change weather pattens, crush homes in the area and act as a giant magnet, pulling nails out of walls and collapsing whole blocks of the city.

Jonnes also highlights some of the personalities surrounding the 1889 fair.  Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and Annie Oakley played to sold out shows daily, and became highly respected in Parisian society.  Thomas Edison showcased his voice recording machines, while the entire fair was lit by his light bulbs.  A temperamental James Gordon Bennett Jr. launched the Paris Herald, a very successful English newspaper for expatriates (like himself) and visitors to the fair.  Van Gogh and Whistler struggled to be seen. Paris was a wonderland, it seems, with a revival of arts, culture, ideas and science.

Jonnes’ carefully-researched book certainly makes one wish they could have see these wonders firsthand. 

Read more about the author and her book here:

Reviewer did not receive a review copy of this title.

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143117297
ISBN-13: 978-0143117292
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *