Experience the electrifying, never-before-told true story of amusement parks, from the middle ages to present day, and meet the colorful (and sometimes criminal) characters who are responsible for their enchanting charms.
Step right up! The Amusement Park is a rich, anecdotal history that begins nine centuries ago with the “pleasure gardens” of Europe and England and ends with the most elaborate modern parks in the world. It’s a history told largely through the stories of the colorful, sometimes hedonistic characters who built them, including:
Showmen like Joseph and Nicholas Schenck and Marcus Loew
Railroad barons Andrew Mellon and Henry E. Huntington
The men who ultimately destroyed the parks, including Robert Moses and Fred Trump
Gifted artisans and craft-people who brought the parks to life
An amazing cast of supporting players, from Al Capone to Annie Oakley
And, of course, this is a full-throttle celebration of the rides, those marvels of engineering and heart-stopping thrills from an author, Stephen Silverman, whose life-long passion for his subject shines through. The parks and fairs featured include the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, Coney Island, Steeplechase Park, Dreamland, Euclid Beach Park, Cedar Point, Palisades Park, Ferrari World, Dollywood, Sea World, Six Flags Great Adventure, Universal Studios, Disney World and Disneyland, and many more.
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