World's Fairs in the Cold War: Science, Technology, and the Culture of Progress

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University of Pittsburgh Press
Publish Date
5.9 X 1.3 X 9.1 inches | 1.4 pounds
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About the Author

Arthur P. Molella is curator emeritus at the Smithsonian's Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, for which he was founding director. He is coeditor of Inventing for the Environment and Places of Invention and coauthor of Invented Edens: Techo-Cities of the 20th Century and World's Fairs on the Eve of War. He is a member of the Society for the History of Technology and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Scott Gabriel Knowles is professor and head of the department of history at Drexel University. He is a research fellow of the Disaster Research Center of the University of Delaware. Knowles is the author of The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America and editor of Imagining Philadelphia: Edmund Bacon and the Future of the City.


Presenting new perspectives on the staging of the Cold War, this valuable book examines superpower rivalry and the peculiar technological optimism of that era. The authors show how expositions offered visitors improbable utopian visions, politicizing urban planning, architecture, the space race, digital technologies, consumer goods, and nuclear energy.--David E. Nye, University of Minnesota
This is a marvelous collection of essays that illuminates the role of world's fairs in shaping the cultural contours of the Cold War. The essays are far-reaching, including pieces on the US and USSR as well as illuminating analysis of world's fairs and the Cold War in Australia, Japan, and Singapore. The breadth and depth of the scholarship is impressive and sets the stage for understanding the most recent wave of world's fairs in the 21st century.--Robert W. Rydell, author of All the World's a Fair