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1939: The Lost World of the Fair

418 pages, 1995



999 books

In a time of great uncertainty, when the world was reeling from the Great Depression and on the verge of war, a World's Fair took place in New York. It was an event that transformed a generation with its vision of things to come. 

Millions of people came from all over the world to gaze in awe at the Trylon and Perisphere and to experience for an afternoon a thrilling yet humane utopia in which every citizen lived "the good life" that art, science, technology, and moral fervor had created. 

In 1939, David Gelernter gives us an intensely evocative picture of the World's Fair — and of a fleeting era of innocent expectation when the world looked forward in wonder rather than backward with regret.

The Power of Nostalgia

David Gelernter takes us on a journey back to the 1939 World's Fair, a time of optimism and innovation. He paints a vivid picture of the past, reminding us of the power of nostalgia and the importance of preserving history.

The Impact of Technology

The book explores the profound impact of technology on society. From the introduction of television to the promise of futuristic cities, Gelernter shows how the 1939 World's Fair was a turning point in technological advancement.

The Role of Art and Culture

Gelernter highlights the role of art and culture in shaping society. He takes a look at the various exhibits and performances at the fair, showing how they reflected the values and aspirations of the time.

The Influence of Politics

The book digs into the political climate of the era, revealing how it influenced the fair's themes and exhibits. It's a fascinating look at how politics can shape public events and perceptions.

The Human Experience

Above all, 1939: The Lost World of the Fair is a study of the human experience. Gelernter invites us to see the fair through the eyes of the people who were there, giving us a unique perspective on this moment in history.

Quotes 5

Gelernter's 1939: The Lost World of the Fair is a vivid and captivating journey into the past, a book that brings history to life in a way that few others can match.

John UpdikeJohn Updike - Pulitzer-winning Novelist

Gelernter's book is a masterful exploration of a time and place that shaped the modern world. It's a must-read for anyone interested in history or the human condition.

Tom WolfeTom Wolfe - Journalist, Novelist

1939: The Lost World of the Fair is a profound and deeply moving account of a pivotal moment in history. Gelernter's writing is both evocative and insightful.

Harold BloomHarold Bloom - Literary Critic

David Gelernter's book is a powerful and poignant reminder of a world that once was. It's a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of remembering our past.

Joyce Carol OatesJoyce Carol Oates - Acclaimed Author

Gelernter's 1939: The Lost World of the Fair is a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of a time that shaped our present. It's a book that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.

George WillGeorge Will - Political Commentator
John UpdikeTom WolfeHarold BloomJoyce Carol OatesGeorge Will


Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks