All the World's a Fair: Visions of Empire at American International Exhibitions, 1876-1916

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Robert W. Rydell contends that America's early world's fairs actually served to legitimate racial exploitation at home and the creation of an empire abroad. He looks in particular to the ethnological displays of nonwhites set up by showmen but endorsed by prominent anthropologists which lent scientific credibility to popular racial attitudes and helped build public support for domestic and foreign policies. Rydell's lively and thought-provoking study draws on archival records, newspaper and magazine articles, guidebooks, popular novels, and oral histories.