Paris 1900: The Great World's Fair
Published: December 1967© 1967
212 Pages, 6.10 x 9.10 x 0.60 in
The novelist Paul Morand described the Exposition of 1900 in Paris: … a new and ephemeral city hidden in the centre of the other, a whole quarter of Paris in fancy dress, a ball, where the buildings were the masqueraders. To our childish eyes it was a marvel, a coloured picture book, a save filled by strangers with treatures. Masked in this swirl of colour and noise was an event for the political, scholarly, literary, and financial elite of all nations, an occasion for demonstrating the many preoccupations of the intellectuals of the age. Like all the World's Fairs of the nineteenth century, this was an opportunity for the awarding of excellence: the awards or lack of them could make or break an artist, craftsman, or inventor who offered his skills for judgment by the international juries; it was the arena where careers were launched or ended, fortunes made or destroyed, reputations of great firms established or ruined.
And in one major respect the Paris World's Fair would never be equalled: it was the last time that it was thought possible to include all of man's activity in one display.
The author of this study believes that the World's Fair can teach us much about the past; being international and representative, they are summations of culture at particular points int he development of our civilization. They are kaleidoscopic pictures of the times. Professor Mandell uses the Paris Exposition as an approach to the traditional, political, and intellectual problems of France and the world at the turn of the century. This original approach offers fresh sources of information on such topics as the Dreyfus Affair, the clash between Art Nouveau and Victorian Baroque, French diplomacy (especially relations with Germany before 1914) and the various countries' progress in the field of science.
Fully illustrated, this study will appeal to amateur and professional historians, to sociologists, economists and anyone interested in international relations, trade, and advertising.