The Great American Fair Analysis

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In The Great American Fair: The World’s Columbian Exposition and American Culture, Reid Badger spends a significant amount of time taking the reader on a descriptive tour of how the Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 originated, the planning process and the debates surrounding its purpose, the construction and architectural debates, the financial responsibilities and expectations, before diving into the fair’s relationship with and impact on American culture. Badger strays away discussing the fair itself, the social aspect of the fair is not really relevant to his conversation. Instead, Badger focuses on the massive opportunities the world fair offers, using the fair as a powerful communication tool, and the impact of its success…show more content…
Every detail of the exposition was determined by the ruling class and centered on a specific purpose; the planning was very intentional and covered every aspect of the fairgoers experience. The exposition was built with the intentions of promoting their ideology and values so they could maintain their elite…show more content…
R. R. Badger, The Great American Fair: The World’s Columbian Exposition and American Culture (Chicago: Nelson-Hall Company, 1979), 127. 6. Robert W. Rydell, All the World 's a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Expositions, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984). of religion was not foreign to me either. What was eye opening to me was how Badger envisioned the role of the arts. Art provided explanation; art was used to help the public understand the change that accompanies progress and technological advances. Badger did not ignore how women and blacks were somewhat disregarded. Women were not yet part of the working world; while blacks faced racial issues. Touching on these topics and the detailed background allowed me to see the fair was a reflection of American culture, as well as an influence. On opening day, President Grover Cleveland urged an audience of around five hundred thousand fairgoers to “let our hopes and aspirations awaken forces which in all time to come shall influence the welfare, the dignity, and the freedom of mankind.”7 Reading this statement in the beginning led me to believe Badger was promoting the fair as a strong influence on American culture. Badger discusses the constructing the White City in the swamp and its symbolization to bringing order out of chaos and increasing America’s team
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