All the World’s a Fair

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Robert W. Rydell contends that America’s early world’s fairs actually served to legitimate racial exploitation at home and the creation of an empire abroad. He looks in particular to the “ethnological” displays of nonwhites—set up by showmen but endorsed by prominent anthropologists—which lent scientific credibility to popular racial attitudes and helped build public support for domestic and foreign policies. Rydell’s lively and thought-provoking study draws on archival records, newspaper and magazine articles, guidebooks, popular novels, and oral histories.

Table of contents

Title Page
1. The Centennial Exhibition, Philadelphia, 1876: The Exposition as a “Moral Influence”
2. The Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893: “And Was Jerusalem Builded Here?”
3. The New Orleans, Atlanta, and Nashville Expositions: New Markets, “New Negroes,” and a New South
4. The Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition, Omaha, 1898: “Concomitant to Empire”
5. The Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo: “Pax 1901”
6. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, Saint Louis, 1904: “The Coronation of Civilization”
7. The Expositions in Portland and Seattle: “To Celebrate the Past and to Exploit the Future”
8. The Expositions in San Francisco and San Diego: Toward the World of Tomorrow

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