The 1939 World's Fair: Background information when reading The World of Tomorrow

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The World of Tomorrow

by Brendan Mathews

The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews X
The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews
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  • Published:
    Sep 2017, 560 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The 1939 World's Fair

DemocracityThe events in Brendan Mathews's The World of Tomorrow lead up, appropriately enough, to the 1939 World's Fair held in what's now Flushing Meadows Park in the New York City borough of Queens. According to the official World's Fair publication, it would showcase "the tools with which the World of Tomorrow must be made."

Time CapsuleThe 1939 World's Fair was the second largest exposition in American history, led only by the 1904 St. Louis Exposition. As suggested by its marketing copy, the fair was focused on the future (it's no coincidence that its genesis occurred during the darkest days of the Great Depression), and was spearheaded by a committee that included city planner Robert Moses, New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia, and a number of business leaders. The future depicted by the fair was largely focused on consumer products and innovation rather than scientific discovery, though Carl Sagan (who was a young child at the time) credited the Fair with sparking his ...

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