Three Yale American Studies authors join forces to help create: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008

March 31, 2015

Joshua Glick, John F. Kasson, and Charles Musser wrote for the catalog edited by Robin Jaffee Frank. “America’s playground,” Coney Island is a world-famous resort and national cultural symbol that has inspired music, literature, and films. This groundbreaking book is the first to look at the site’s enduring status as inspiration for artists throughout the ages, from its inception as an elite seaside resort in the mid-19th century, to its evolution into an entertainment mecca for the masses, with the eventual closing of its iconic amusement park, Astroland, in 2008 after decades of urban decline. How artists chose to portray Coney Island between 1861 and 2008—in tableaux of wonder and menace, hope and despair, dreams and nightmares—mirrored the aspirations and disappointments of the era.
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