Taking it Home:
LITERATURE ANALYSIS
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While the most powerful media for spreading the ideology of the 1933 Exposition was certainly the visual image, the fair was not above also using text. Marketing new ideas to an audience as diverse as the Americans of the 1930's required both new and old methods. The organizers of the exposition published a variety of texts to further their endeavors, from the Exposition Guidebook to the Century of Progress series. Following the lead of the fair organizers, other cultural workers also used written texts to convince Americans of their need for the new technologies. To do this, they had to show that progress could be orderly.


A CENTURY OF PROGRESS SERIES    
A series of volumes by well-known scholars presenting the essential features of those fundamental sciences which are the foundation stones of modern industry.
So opens every volume of this series. A look at the titles in the series shows that every area of industry from aviation to medicine is included. The first books in this series appeared in 1931; publication continued until 1933. The role of this series was to get Americans thinking about the progress of the previous century and convince them that this progress was under the careful management of responsible human beings. In doing this, the series also served as a promotion for the Exposition in Chicago. In turn, the fair promoted the series. Available here is a library containing several titles from the series.
Click here for A Century of Progress series

AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN Charles Austin Beard, acting independent from the Exposition organizers, also took up the job of ordering the previous century of technological progress. In 1932, he published a book of essays, edited by himself, and written by a variety of experts from many fields, that assessed the advancements of 1833 to 1933. Follow this link to see the table of contents and selections of text. Beard and his co-authors came to the same conclusion as the fair managers: Machine-age progress can be controlled, and must be fostered.
Click here for Charles Austin Beard's book

Taking a fictional turn, Minnie Hite Moody published Once Again in Chicago in 1933. This romantic novel introduces the two readers to Mattie Thornton and her beloved Henry. Mattie and Henry initially met at 1893 World's Fair, White City, also held in Chicago. In a tragic turn of events they lost touch with each other after the fair. Each went on to marry another, have kids, and eventually become widowed. Now they have met again at the Century of Progress. Alternately, we see the progress of the fair through Mattie's sceptical and Henry's laudatory eyes. We also get retrospective glances at the previous fair, and at the previous forty years of technolical progress. The Century of Progress seems to offer Mattie and Henry a second chance, but in the end Mattie quietly returns home alone. The sceptic of progress is bound to the tragedy of tradition. Selected quotes are available here.
Click here for Once Again in Chicago