Just in time for its 120th anniversary, acclaimed historian Jill Jonnes has written a compelling account of the tower’s creation and Belle Époque France in Eiffel's Tower: And the World’s Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarrelled and Thomas Edison Became a Count, the only history of the Tower currently available in English.
Originally reviled by much of Paris as “useless” and “monstrous”, the Tower was built as the centre piece of the 1889 World’s Fair and enjoyed a storied beginning detailed in this book.
When the construction of the tallest building in the world was announced in 1887, a manifesto against its creation was signed by many of Paris’ most prominent artists, including Alexandre Dumas and Sully Prudhomme.
They protested "in the name of French art and history under threat, against the construction…of the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower".
Over a century, 18,038 pieces of iron and 240 million visitors later, the Eiffel Tower has become one of the most iconic and beloved images of France and modern times.
Jill Jonnes is a historian and the author of Conquering Gotham: A Gilded Age Epic: The Construction of Penn Station and Its Tunnels and Empires of Light: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, and the Race to Electrify the World.
She has been a National Foundation for the Humanities scholar and received several grants from the Ford Foundation. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
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