Jeffrey Hart on "The Last Great Fair"


When I read something like this, I feel like I was born too late and missed out on all the good stuff. Jeffrey Hart, who at age nine had a season pass to the 1939-40 New York World's Fair, remembers the fair, "the last great fair, innocent in its faith."

It believed in Progress as a comprehensive idea. We no longer have that kind of belief. We believe in advances—in transportation, medicine, communications, computers, longevity, and so on, but not in Progress as a central animating idea, one that gives meaning to life.

Hart takes us inside the Perisphere to Democracity, the planned model city (residences, industries, and offices carefully segregated from each other) of America's future, then out to the Amusement Zone with its parachute rides, Zombies, and freak shows.

Hat tip to Power Line's Big Trunk, whose entry includes links to an earlier essay by Hart and to a collection of images from the fair.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on March 20, 2005 2:51 PM.

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