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This book is a strange beast: a meditation on the meaning of the 1939 New York World's Fair seen through the lens of David Gelernter's angry political opinion that society today has gone to moral rot and ruin--mostly because of the ideas of New York-style liberals, who have led us astray. Richly detailed observations of the 1939 World's Fair and its social milieu are interspersed with a rather sparse fictional account of an old-fashioned romance that got its fuse lit on the fairgrounds. If you want a straightforward 1939 World's Fair novel, the classic is still World's Fair, by E. L. Doctorow. But Gelernter writes likes nobody else. His historical research is painstaking, and his pro-1939, anti-modern political jeremiad gives the book an eccentric but propulsive narrative drive. Gelernter has a qualified love of two-fisted old-time social engineers, such as Robert Moses, and he yearns for a time when society was ruled by authority figures instead of celebrities. Ah, the good old days, when the 1939 World's Fair introduced America to TV, the fax machine, nylons, fluorescent lighting, long-distance phone calls, and an underwater Salvador Dali exhibit starring live, half-nude women. Gelernter wrote this book while recovering from a murder attempt by the Unabomber (recounted in Gelernter's Drawing Life), but his true claim to fame is the cranky individualism of his mind. [via]