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March 26 , 2009

Amusing the Million

Coney Island at the Turn of the Century


Coney Island: the name still resonates with a sense of racy Brooklyn excitement, the echo of beach-front popular entertainment before World War I. 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.

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