Through skillfully chosen photographs and highly imaginative careful analysis, Kasson implicitly argues that Coney Island was American appetite, America-as-joke, incarnate. His inquiry into the nature and significance of Coney Island as part of the American experience provides a brilliant device for understanding major transformations in American culture at the turn of the century I only wish that the analysis was a little more in depth and the decline of Coney Island was explored more.
Kasson concludes "A harbinger of the new mass culture, Coney Island lost its distinctiveness by the very triumph of its values. His inquiry into the nature and significance of Coney Island as part of the American experience provides a brilliant device for understanding major transformations in American culture at the turn of the century.
I would recommend it, if are into history and want to learn the "magic of Coney Island's history". Cawelti, University of Chicago "Because he treats our frivolities seriously, John Kasson has produced an important book which helps us all understand ourselves.
Leisure was opening to all classes and ethnicities during this period as it never had before. What were the inspirations for amusement parks and the societal pressures that lead to their development at the turn of the nineteenth century?
Why was Coney Island built? Shelves: historynew-york-citypopular-culturesnonfictionssworlds-fairs When a colleague retired last year, she emptied her office and everyone got a few things. Meticulous and exciting, [Amusing the Million is] clearly destined to be a classic in the still inchoate field of popular culture.
The book ends with the completion of the subway from New York to Coney Island and the transformation or taming of the extraordinary freedom and innovation the space possessed in its fledgling years.
What did the parks have to offer for the emerging middle class?