Exploring it afresh in this way, John Kasson shows Coney Island no longer as I. “Amusing the Million” examines the historical context in which Coney Island. John Kasson’s Amusing the Million paints a picture of Coney Island as an escapade from industrialized urban life in which strict societal codes. Find Amusing the Million by Kasson, John F at Biblio. Uncommonly good collectible and rare books from uncommonly good booksellers.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Amusing the Million by John F. Amusing the Million examines the historical context in which Coney Island made its reputation as an amusement park and shows how America’s changing social and economic conditions formed the basis of a new mass culture.
Exploring it afresh in this way, John Kasson shows Coney Island no longer as the object of nostalgia but as a harbinger of modernity–and the many photographs, lithographs, engravings, and other reproductions with which he amplifies his text support this lively thesis. Paperbackpages. To see what kwsson friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Amusing the Millionplease sign up.
Lists with This Book. Apr kaseon, George Taylor rated it it was amazing. Not as much a history of Coney Island and its myriad amusements, but a look at why Coney Island became the center of American amusements at the turn and first decade of the 20th century. Jan 03, Bob Redmond rated it really liked it Shelves: Kasson writes a neat history of Coney Island and posits its impact on these United States.
In superb prose, he gives the reader a good feeling of the place, even as he outlines a critical take: Coney helped transform the nation towards a mainstream industrial economy.
Subversive on its face, it ended up reinforcing the status quo: Coney set the template for the entertain Kasson writes a neat history of Coney Island and ,illion its impact on these United States.
Amusing the Million by John F. Kasson (ebook)
Coney set the template for the entertainment industry for the next century: Kasson manages to demonstrate an obvious soft spot for Coney and its main amusement parks Steeplechase, Luna Park, and Dreamland without making this a fan’s treatment. Along the way we get a good overview of public planning theory from the 19th and early 20th centuries, covering Frederick Law Olmstead designer of Central Park and the Columbian Exhibition FairgroundsDaniel Burnam also of the Columbian Exposition ofMaxim Gorky, and others.
With copious photos, illustrations, and notes. Discovered it on the internet a couple years ago, while I was researching Luna Park.
Started it but thought it would occupy too much of my brain, so I set it aside. I took it with me on Christmas break and enjoyed considering it against a central question for me: Posing this question on the rugged beaches of the Washington coast provides an easy answer: Would we have more parks and fewer midways? Come on, then, wild tempests of the rocky Northwest coast. On New Year’s eve, fireworks blasted even your starry skies. Jun 07, Dan Gorman rated it it was amazing Shelves: Enormous fun, and educational.
Kasson explains how amusement parks and new electrified, industrial entertainments of the early s killed the culture of edification and restraint that middle- and upper-class American “Victorians” had pushed since the s. Coney Island and its three great parks — Dreamland, Luna Park, and Steeplechase Park — were the pinnacle of early-twentieth-century industrial fun. Crowds of revelers and participatory games disrupted strict social boundaries, and the sexes Enormous fun, and educational.
Crowds of revelers and participatory games disrupted strict social boundaries, and the sexes frolicked unchaperoned, but whites continued to objectify people of color and “freaks. Kasson might have talked more about Americans in the s who didn’t buy into the “Victorian” mindset, so that the book didn’t present such a binary opposition of Victorian and Coney mentalities.
Still, this is a breezy book to read, it’s full of pictures in a way that twenty-first-century history books are typically not, and it blends probing analysis with wacky anecdotes. This is not a book about the history of Coney Island itself but more an exploration of the concepts behind it. Why was Coney Island built? What were the inspirations for amusement parks and the societal pressures that lead to their development at the turn of the nineteenth century?
What did the parks have to offer for the emerging middle class? These are the questions asked and then answered, at least to the satisfaction of the author. Jan 13, Ryan Campbell rated it really liked it. I found it to be quite an enjoyable read with plenty of visual sources and the prose to support it. I only wish that the analysis was a little more in depth and the decline of Coney Island was explored more. Overall it was a great introduction on the subject, I will certainly read more on the subject.
Feb 25, Amusiing. Another college honors history book I had to read This was bearable in some parts, because I thought it was interesting how Kasson described the change in mass culture, but when he went into deep deep detail, it was like YAWN!
I would recommend it, if are into history and want to learn the “magic of Coney Island’s history”. I can’t say I agree with ALL of the author’s conclusions, however there is no doubt the culture around Coney Island exemplified huge changes in the American psyche and attitudes.
Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century
Was Coney Island the instigator or the result? Either way the book introduces the reader to subjects of milluon eighteenth and nineteenth centuries which are seldom covered and are certainly informative.
Nov 26, Kate Mcphail added it.
January Tulsa, OK. Not a book for the general public, more of an edited academic treatise. If you’re looking for descriptions of the amusements at Coney Island, interesting incidents, or the general history, this is not your book.
Feb 18, Alexandra rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Fascinating, short book detailing social history of Coney Island at the turn of the last century. By locating Coney Island in the Victorian contexts of mass immigration, turn-of-the-century progressive reform and urban planning especially contrasted to the “uplifting” urban and recreational ideals of Olmsted and Vaugh’s urban parks and Chicago’s Columbian Expositionand the rise of a new consumer class, Amusing the Million allows the the reader to really understand the radical new forms of ma Fascinating, short book detailing social history of Coney Island at the turn of the last century.
By locating Coney Island in the Victorian contexts of mass immigration, turn-of-the-century progressive reform and urban planning especially contrasted to the “uplifting” urban and recreational ideals of Olmsted and Vaugh’s urban parks and Chicago’s Columbian Expositionand the rise of a new consumer class, Amusing the Million allows the the reader to really understand the radical new forms of mass social expression that would eventually become dominant over the highbrow and middle class genteel culture of the Victorians.
The author presents great insights into Coney’s past. The most unexpected for me was that Coney Island was both a place for working people to release the pent-up emotions caused by their participation in cities designed for the maximization of profit with little concern for recreation, and therefore fulfilled a “need” that accounted for it’s booming popularity, while at the same time, paradoxically, Coney Island was a highly regulated social environment, a successful experiment in social engineering for the ultimate goal of maximizing the profit of the parks’ owners.
A fascinating look at Coney Island for all Coney fans and anyone interested in amusement parks, socially engineered places, spectacle, suspension of disbelief, carnival and the psychology of tje. Sep 11, Kaufmak rated it it was amazing Shelves: I didn’t want to write a,using reviews of Kasson’s works, but this one is hard to neglect. Even though it is now a thirty-plus year old book, it still is a worthwhile, even important read.
When looking at Kasson’s works as a whole, at least those that I’ve read, it is hard to find a more accomplished historian when it comes to the turn of the century in the United States. Amusing is a really short book, but the point is made quickly, no need to dawdle. Kasson examines the rise of Coney Island as a cu I didn’t want to write two reviews of Kasson’s works, but this one is hard to neglect. Kasson examines the rise of Coney Island as a cultural transformation from the Victorian norms of the s to a new, less restrained culture, much of the same ground covered by Lew Erenberg.
Coney Island is a harbinger of modernity, a greater mix of classes, a more sensual and daring culture, a counter culture from what a park was meant to be in the era preceding. Mililon Island was not a peaceful retreat from everyday life,like Central Park, but a lively, dangerous controlled danger place to experience, not relax.
If the age was, as Wiebe kason was a search for order, the amusement park was decidedly the opposite amusiing that.
It was an embrace of the disorderly rides that spun you aroundof the confusing fun houses and exciting games of chance. Ultimately, the parks on Coney Island, while signalling a change were not revolutionary. They did after all, charge admission and expect money to be spent once inside. As controlled as the anarchy might be, capitalism was still the order of the day.
Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century | noahflanigan
Jan 30, Tim rated it really liked it. Kasson’s book is an extended essay on Coney Island that incorporates the history of the late 19th century movement from a producer to a consumer society, play and festival, class and immigration, and the development of mass culture.
He concludes that the rough and crowded diversions of Coney Island were no cultural revolt, “but served to affirm the existing culture” as social release and illusionary egalitarianism and the mass culture there soon became the national culture.
He mixes description Kasson’s book is an extended essay on Coney Island that incorporates the history of the late 19th century movement from a producer to a consumer society, play and festival, class and immigration, and the development of mass culture. He mixes description of rides and parks and entrepreneurs with cultural history using a light touch, made even lighter with the extensive pictures.
Aug 04, Oliver Bateman rated it it was amazing Shelves: Oct 15, Andrew Miller rated it it was amazing. Kasson’s book is an excellent read for anyone interested in social history. He tells to story of Coney Island and explores how it fits within the American experience. At the turn of the century, Americans desperately wanted an escape from Victorian ideals and the pressures of industrialization, Coney Island provided the necessary release for the lower classes to break social mores and push cultural boundaries.
This would be a great book for an undergraduate class: Sep 29, Anne Banan rated it liked it Recommends it for: This book was an interesting look at the phenomena of Coney Island, the largest stretch of amusement park that pretty much ever was.
It was a very interesting book that commented on an emerging culture, however I think certain areas were very pointedly left out. Also, the author tried to validate himself by using lots of “educated words” which, while it didn’t bother me too much, did make the reading a bit more tiresome. May 29, Nate Trier rated it liked it. Very interesting look at the history and context of “public works” projects for amusement – focusing on central park and coney island at the turn of the century.
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