Jill Jonnes revisits the 1889 World’s Fair to chronicle the construction of Eiffel’s Tower (Penguin, $16). Her fluid reportage, knowing navigation of the period’s social standards, and clear presentation of the political gamesmanship that goes into the creation of a national symbol make for an amusing and charming narrative. While luminaries such as Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, Paul Gauguin, and James McNeill Whistler enjoyed the sights, the Tower rose amid disputes over the project’s expense, its time frame, and the building’s artistic value. Yet Eiffel defied the odds and built a monument to Paris that would withstand the test of time.
Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It - Jill Jonnes
Published: Penguin Books - April 27th, 2010