Eiffel’s Tower

Eiffel's TowerEiffel’s Tower:And the World’s Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a CountEiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It by Jill Jonnes by Jill Jonnes

If you’ve read Devil in the White City, Eiffel’s Tower will have a familiarity to it. They both give a detailed look at a major event – the World’s Fairs in Chicago and Paris – and especially focus on a particular aspect surrounding the event. In Devil’s case, it’s the serial killer operating nearby. In Eiffel’s Tower, it’s (no surprise) the Eiffel Tower.

My hesitation at recommending Devil in the White City has always been the true-crime element – it can be tough to read, especially if you’re really just wanting a look at the World’s Fair in Chicago. There are no such hesitations with Eiffel’s Tower, as everything is focused on the Tower, or the Fair.

It’s still not a book that will appeal to everyone – it can be a bit dry at times, and there are a ton of people to keep straight as far as who is who, and what their connection is to events. If you want nonfiction that reads like fiction or is impossible to put down, this is probably not the book for you. But for a fascinating look at Eiffel, his tower, Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show, Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, and many, many more, I really enjoyed this.

Publisher’s Description:
The story of the world-famous monument and the extraordinary world’s fair that introduced it.

Since it opened in May 1889, the Eiffel Tower has been an iconic image of modern times-as much a beacon of technological progress as an enduring symbol of Paris and French culture. But as engineer Gustave Eiffel built the now-famous landmark to be the spectacular centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair, he stirred up a storm of vitriol from Parisian tastemakers, lawsuits, and predictions of certain structural calamity.

In Eiffel’s Tower, Jill Jonnes, critically acclaimed author of Conquering Gotham, presents a compelling account of the tower’s creation and a superb portrait of Belle Epoque France. As Eiffel held court that summer atop his one-thousand-foot tower, a remarkable host of artists and personalities-Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Gauguin, Whistler, and Edison-traveled to Paris and the Exposition Universelle to mingle and make their mark.

Like The Devil in the White City, Brunelleschi’s Dome, and David McCullough’s accounts of the building of the Panama Canal and the Brooklyn Bridge, Eiffel’s Tower combines technological and social history and biography to create a richly textured portrayal of an age of aspiration, dreams, and progress.

Book Details

Title: Eiffel’s Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris’s Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World’s Fair That Introduced ItEiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair That Introduced It by Jill Jonnes
Author: Jill Jonnes
Category: Nonfiction / History
My Rating: 4 Stars

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  1. I LOVED this book. It was very Larson-esque. I agree with the artist’s squabble, Whistler was too much trouble!


  1. […] of my favorite posts on her site include Eiffel’s Tower, What the Kids are Reading (in October 2014), and 31 Days of Great Nonfiction […]

  2. […] especially enjoyed it because of having recently read Eiffel’s Tower, which included a little bit about Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show as it appeared at the […]

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