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Perfect Cities: Chicagos Utopias of 1893 James Burkhart Gilbert

Perfect Cities: Chicagos Utopias of 1893

James Burkhart Gilbert

Published
ISBN : 9780226293172
Hardcover
293 pages
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 About the Book 

In this elegant and sensitive look at the milieu of the Worlds Columbian Exposition of 1893, James Gilbert examines the three utopias that were designed to bring order to the chaos of urban life: The Worlds Fair itself, George Pullmans communityMoreIn this elegant and sensitive look at the milieu of the Worlds Columbian Exposition of 1893, James Gilbert examines the three utopias that were designed to bring order to the chaos of urban life: The Worlds Fair itself, George Pullmans community for his workers, and Dwight Moodys evangelical crusade. Gilbert draws upon a rich selection of fiction, collective biography, architecture, photographs, and souvenir books to show how these experiments each acted as a middle-class prescription for coming to terms with the new cultural diversity and competition resulting from the disruptive forces of technological change, commercial enterprise, and pluralism.Mr. Gilberts splendid book opens the door on a conflicted past, and provides an indispensable perspective on the troubled and troubling struggle we face today between old and new, unity and diversity.—Alan Trachtenberg, New York TimesPerfect Cities is a remarkable account of a struggle for cultural definition. Chronicling the byplay between cultural homogeneity and heterogeneity, unity and diversity, James Gilbert not only throws light on Chicagos past but also provides insight that can be applied to the cultural debates of our own time.—Adria Bernardi, Chicago TribuneWhat Gilbert has done is to enable the reader to experience the grand utopian visions of the times, yet at the same time see the cantankerous reality that made the visions impossible.—Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times