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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the Fair
I thoroughly enjoyed this book's combination of history and fiction. It was very well written, very well researched and the descriptions of the 1939 World's Fair are truly outstanding.
Published on 28 April 1999

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2.0 out of 5 stars Make it stop!!!
I am in high school and this was a book recommended to me by my US history teacher. I thought that the book was far from linear and that the author branched out on too many topics. This book described the fair in great detail, but failed to describe many of the exhibits and failed to capture my interest. I was tourtured through reading this book, and the only thing...
Published on 13 Aug 1999


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2.0 out of 5 stars Make it stop!!!, 13 Aug 1999
By A Customer
I am in high school and this was a book recommended to me by my US history teacher. I thought that the book was far from linear and that the author branched out on too many topics. This book described the fair in great detail, but failed to describe many of the exhibits and failed to capture my interest. I was tourtured through reading this book, and the only thing that was interesting was the outward description of the fair. The book did not describe the underlying theme of the fair in good detail. The love story was unneccessary and was only there as a human interest story. I do not recommend anyone reading this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book on the Fair, 28 April 1999
By A Customer
I thoroughly enjoyed this book's combination of history and fiction. It was very well written, very well researched and the descriptions of the 1939 World's Fair are truly outstanding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Both insightful and delightful...., 5 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Gelernter presents a powerful argument(s) for the moral and motivational decline of our society since the late 1930's- as highlighted by the theme and focus of the 1939 World's Fair
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4.0 out of 5 stars Potentially great, 7 Dec 1998
By A Customer
the author's thesis that 1939 is essentially different from our own time makes it almost impossible for him to accomplish his 2nd purpose, to make us feel like we were there. Still, a much more than worthwhile work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wish Mom were still alive so we could discuss it, 22 Mar 1998
By A Customer
My mother used to talk about how wonderful the World's Fair had been.
One of the cruel things about intergenerational relations is how impossible it is to communicate important things about social change. I _want_ to tell my kids about Kennedy, about Vietnam, about the McCarthy era. I hear myself talking and I know it sounds just as boring as it was to me hearing my folks talking about Roosevelt, or the Depression, or the World's Fair.
This book is fascinating and moving and it has important things to say. Gelernter is trying, with honesty and intelligence, to explore the question "What was it really like for our folks?" How can anyone _really_ know? Nobody can, but for a time as recent as 1939 it's well worth trying.
I did go to the, was it 1963, New York World's Fair. My mother said I just _had_ to, even though everybody said it was a pale shadow of the 1939 fair. I remember an IBM exhibit done by Charles Eames, featuring twelve movie screens and simultaneous shots from twelve viewpoints of, say, two train cars coupling (one closeup, one aerial, one of the dispatchers board) while the narrator said something stupid and shallow about data and information. I remember that the Coca-Cola pavilion smelled of Coke. It wasn't like 1939.
About once a chapter something pulls you up short. Sometimes it's a trivial detail ("those tractor trains at the Bronx Zoo whose horns played "Boys and Girls Together" were from the Fair.") Other times it's not so trivial.
William Manchester tried something like this in "The Glory and the Dream." Let's see, was it David Halberstam who recently wrote "The Fifties?" Gelernter's book is more readable, and more profound.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read this Year!, 28 Sep 1997
By A Customer
This book combines research and imagination with a deftness that few can equal. It offers us not only a picture of America in 1939 but in doing so it also holds a mirror up to the US of today. I cannot recommend this book too highly...it is important but better yet, it is a great read.
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1939: The Lost World of the Fair
1939: The Lost World of the Fair by David Gelernter (Hardcover - 1 May 1995)
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