Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It (Paperback)

Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It By Jill Jonnes Cover Image

Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It (Paperback)


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June 2009 Indie Next List

“Eiffel's Tower tells a tale of art, science, entertainment -- and the creation of the Paris icon. The story includes Thomas Edison, Buffalo Bill, Gaugin, Whistler, and Gustave Eiffel, and the reader learns how the world is, and always was, interconnected.”
— Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT

The story of the world-famous monument and the extraordinary world’s fair that introduced it, by the author of Conquering Gotham and Urban Forests

In this first general history of the Eiffel Tower in English, Jill Jonnes-acclaimed author of Conquering Gotham-offers an eye- opening look not only at the construction of one of the modern world's most iconic structures, but also the epochal event that surrounded its arrival as a wonder of the world. In this marvelously entertaining portrait of Belle Époque France, fear and loathing over Eiffel's brash design share the spotlight with the celebrities that made the 1889 Exposition Universelle an event to remember-including Buffalo Bill and his sharpshooter Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, and artists Whistler, Gauguin, and van Gogh. Eiffel's Tower is a richly textured portrait of an era at the dawn of modernity, reveling in the limitless promise of the future.
Jill Jonnes is the author of Eiffel's Tower, Urban Forests, Conquering Gotham, Empires of Light, and South Bronx Rising. She was named a National Endowment for the Humanities scholar and has received several grants from the Ford Foundation. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
Product Details ISBN: 9780143117292
ISBN-10: 0143117297
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: April 27th, 2010
Pages: 368
Language: English
Praise for Eiffel’s Tower

“Ms. Jonnes does a fine job of walking us through the fair, where visitors were immersed in a typical late-nineteenth-century stew of high-minded educational exhibits and cheap thrills.”
—Richard B. Woodward, The New York Times

“In splendid detail, Jonnes examines the importance of the tower in its own historical moment.”
—Caroline Weber, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

“This panorama of life near the end of the nineteenth century is vivid, detailed and engrossing. . . . A well-researched read that will transport them back to a time as complex and crazy as our own.”
—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Exploiting the almost magnetic attraction of the great tower, Jonnes cleverly pulls into her narrative a wide range of characters, from ‘Little Sure Shot’ Annie Oakley to ‘art warrior’ Paul Gauguin. . . . She does [a] . . . fine job of demonstrating what M. Eiffel insisted all along: that his tower was much more than just an ‘object of barren wonder.’”
—Robert Cremins, Houston Chronicle

“Jonnes’ rollicking account of the Eiffel Tower’s rowdy debut is an occasion for celebration itself. . . . With flair and marvelously descriptive, ‘you-are-there’ prose, Jonnes gives Eiffel’s Tower the immediacy that only a talented writer can bestow on history. Adding to the book's impact are the numerous photos of the tower, the fair and the people who came to see them. . . . Jonnes weaves these crazy fragments into a beautiful quilt. . . . As elegant and eccentric as its subject, Eiffel’s Tower sparkles with the power of conviction and the passion of creation.”
—Jay Strafford, Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A colorful cast of characters descended on Paris for the 1889 World’s Fair, and Jonnes (Conquering Gotham) offers an atmospheric overview of the celebrities who made Belle Epoque Paris their stage during the memorable event.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Jonnes’ book is more than just a recap of perhaps the most interesting international exposition ever staged. With the gift of hindsight, Jonnes illuminates the roots of Belle Epoque Paris and Belle Epoque Europe, a period of peace and progress marked by technological progress and cultural advances that lasted from the 1880s to the 1914 start of World War I. . . . Big dreams and world’s fairs benefit mankind and make history, and Jonnes’ book proves.”
—David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News

“This entertaining new work chronicles the tower’s storied beginnings. . . . This carefully researched book, which combines technological and social history (and offers a lively account of the World’s Fair), paints a compelling portrait of Belle Epoque France.”
—France Magazine

“In Eiffel’s Tower, Jill Jonnes (Empires of Light, Conquering Gotham) presents an engaging story of a great engineer, one with an ‘attractive boldness, impetuosity, and natural courage.’”
—James, Summerville, BookPage

“In Eiffel’s Tower, historian Jill Jonnes helps us travel back in time to the Exposition Universelle of 1889 in Paris . . . and tells the story of Gustave Eiffel’s Tour en Fer de Trois Cents Mètres. Jonnes immerses us so thoroughly in the Exposition that when we get to her description of the Fair’s final day, we’re almost sad to leave.”
—Book-of-the-Month Club

“This is a thoroughly delightful book, built around Gustave Eiffel’s Tour en Fer (iron tower), but really describing in rich detail Paris and its Exposition Universelle in 1889, coincidentally the centennial of the French Revolution. Author Jill Jonnes re-creates deliciously the Belle Epoque.”
—Jules Wagman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel