in Whose Fair?

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780226293103
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226293127 | DOI:

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This book, which focuses on one of the great, important events of the early twentieth century—the Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis in 1904—inquires into how we come to know about and understand such great public events, and what we should make of them. It offers insights into ways that experience, history, and memory might complement each other and learn from each other's proceedings and accepted methods and truths. The author chose St. Louis as the site to explore these issues, mainly because of the well-established historical narrative that has developed to explain the meaning of the Fair based upon the works of Robert Rydell then adopted and expanded by many others. This interpretation places matters of race and imperialism at the center of the intention of the Fair builders and sponsors, and it argues that this is the predominant meaning of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. The book also looks at the voice of the Fair itself, as articulated by David Francis, the energetic and accomplished president of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company.

Keywords: Louisiana Purchase Exposition; St. Louis; 1904 World's Fair; experience; history; memory; Robert Rydell; race; imperialism; David Francis

Chapter.  5308 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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