The Amusement Park

900 Years of Thrills and Spills, and the Dreamers and Schemers Who Built Them

Contributors

By Stephen M. Silverman

Formats and Prices

Prices

  • Sale Price $2.99
  • Regular Price $16.99
  • Discount (82% off)

Prices

  • Sale Price $2.99 CAD
  • Regular Price $21.99 CAD
  • Discount (86% off)

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 7, 2019. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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.

  • "A vivid -- often ardent -- history... A legitimate way to study American cultural and social history... Even in this digital age, it seems, there's a craving for communal diversion, and for gathering agog crowds before a shared spectacle."
    Wall Street Journal
  • "Spectacular...lavishly illustrated, deeply researched and widely enjoyable."
    Chicago Tribune
  • "[The Amusement Park is] rich with anecdotes that complement its easy-to-read style; truly this book is suggested for those who have a strong interest in the subject as well as for those interested in American recreational culture of the 19th and 20th centuries... This ambitious project could possibly be considered the definitive work on the history of what is considered today the Amusement Park."
    Boston City Paper


  • "[The Amusement Park] is stunningly writ­ten while being both entertaining and vastly informative.... A must for any­one with interest in the business of fun."

    Tim Baldwin, Amusement Today
  • "Compelling."
    New York Post
  • "The most fascinating part of the book is the schemers and dreamers who made [the parks] all become reality all the way back to the Venice ferris wheel, to P.T. Barnum, Walt Disney and to the latest from Universal Studios, Disney and Six Flags... It's a perfect summer book."
    Provokr
  • "Starting with the Middle Ages, Silverman traces the path from European 'pleasure gardens' to Universal Studios, profiling the colorful characters who created amusement parks and the rides that drew customers."
    Publishers Weekly, Spring Announcements feature

On Sale
May 7, 2019
Page Count
432 pages
ISBN-13
9780316416474

Stephen M. Silverman

About the Author

Stephen M. Silverman is the author of fourteen books and a contributor to Vogue, Esquire, Smithsonian, the Times of London, the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, which described him as “a veteran journalist and historian of popular culture who writes with verve and mischief.” A former news editor at Time Inc., he taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and has appeared on Today, CBS This Morning, 20/20, Dateline NBC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business, NPR, Australia’s Nine Network, and the BBC. He lives in New York City.
 

Learn more about this author