The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City

Category: Book
By (author): Creighton, Margaret
Subject:  HISTORY / General
  HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  HISTORY / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic (DC, DE, MD,
Publisher: WW Norton
Published: October 2016
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 320
Size: 9.50in x 6.50in x 1.10in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*In 1901, Buffalo was the eighth-largest city in the United States, and its leaders had big dreams. They would host a world's fair, showcasing the Americas, and bring millions of people to western New York. With nearby Niagara Falls as a drawing card and with stunning colors and electric lights, they hoped the fair would be more popular and more brilliant, literally, than Chicago's White City of 1893.

The Exposition opened with fanfare; its wonders, both strange and magnificent, dazzled the public. Then tragedy struck. In the early autumn of 1901, an assassin stalked the fairgrounds, waiting for President William McKinley. That was shocking enough, but there were more surprises in store. A female daredevil captivated crowds by trying to ride a barrel over Niagara Falls. Apache leader Geronimo startled visitors with a controversial performance. And a showman called the Animal King, the self-proclaimed star of the Midway, announced that one of his acts, the smallest woman in the world and the fair's "mascot," had been kidnapped. Then he staged the attempted electrocution of an elephant.

In this extraordinary account, Margaret S. Creighton lifts the curtain on the assassination of McKinley as well as on the fair's lesser-known battles, involving both notorious and forgotten figures. In a story that is by turns suspenseful, heartrending, and triumphant, she reveals the myriad power struggles that not only marked the Exposition but shaped the new century.

Review Quote*Wonderfully informative, evocative and illuminating. - Buffalo News

Required reading. - New York Post

Lively. - Randy Dotinga (Christian Science Monitor)

Engrossing. - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Creighton shines. - Booklist

A propulsive, edge-of-your-seat ride. - Lauren Belfer, author of And After the Fire

Utterly electrifying prose. - Martha Hodes, author of Mourning Lincoln

Absolutely first-rate. - A. R. Gurney, playwright
Biographical NoteMargaret S. Creighton is the author of The Colors of Courage: Gettysburg's Forgotten History, a finalist for the Lincoln Prize, and other works. She is a professor of history at Bates College and lives in Maine.