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A colorful cast of characters descended on Paris for the 1889 World's Fair, and Jonnes (Conquering Gotham) offers an atmospheric overview of the celebrities who made belle époque Paris their stage during the memorable event. Annie Oakley amazed crowds with her precisely executed shots. Thomas Edison, a master at promoting both himself and modern technology, chafed at the leisurely French way of life, delighted the masses with his phonograph and chatted with Louis Pasteur at his institute. Paul Gauguin was enthralled by a troupe of Javanese temple dancers and miffed that the Americans only intended to exhibit 17 of his 27 etchings, while James McNeill Whistler, who delighted in provocations and feuds, decamped to the British, who displayed even fewer of his works. The fair's undisputed main attraction both at the fair and in Jonnes's account, was the controversial wrought-iron tower of unprecedented height that, Jonnes says, appeals for both its technological genius and its aerial playfulness and charm. It perfectly embodies the triumph of the modern that Jonnes so well captures in her sprightly account. Photos.(May 4)
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ISBN-10:  0670020605
ISBN-13:  978-0670020607
Author:  Jill Jonnes
Publisher:  Viking Adult
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review by . April 05, 2013
Jonnes sums up her history of the Eiffel Tower: "no other man-made artifact has ever rivaled the tower's potent mixture of spare elegance, amazing enormity and complexity when experienced firsthand.". But Jonnes reveals the struggle that Eiffel fought to get the tower approved and built (the French government first promised and then reneged on approving the project and providing partial funding) while facing criticism from artists and architects who hated the design and the expectation …
review by . June 22, 2009
This lively and entertaining book is obviously extensively researched. Using newspaper articles, interviews, letters, and so forth, the author lets the reader see events unfold as those who lived at the time saw them.    The book covers the details of the building of the Eiffel Tower as well as the doings of famous people who attended the 1889 Paris World's Fair. The book has nice photos illustrating the building of the tower, showing famous people who attended the world's fair, …
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