Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
waynebretl

Facts or confusion? Andrew Kiste book...

Recommended Posts

I have started reading "Walt Disney and the 1964 1965 New York Worlds Fair - Great Moments, by Andrew Kiste, Theme Park Press, 2019.

I am on page 31 of 200 pages and it's driving me crazy due to its dire need of a good editor; but I plan to finish it anyway. It's full of inept phrasing that makes you read twice to check whether you understood it, incorrect word choices, poor punctuation, and just generally raises hell with my editing instincts. In some places it switches from factual statements to apparent dramatization (e.g., regarding Disney's epiphany about amusement parks for the whole family) without properly setting it off. 

Anyway, one particular claim that I cannot substantiate or refute off the top of my head is that federal housing Title I allowed eminent domain seizure of property for urban renewal WITHOUT compensation to the owners. This sounds like a major error in the text, as I thought eminent domain only allowed seizure with compensation.

Can anyone comment on this? If this is an error in the text, I would take it as a red flag that perhaps much else in the book cannot be trusted. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I won't take time with examples of confusing writing (there are plenty), but I did find another factual error.

The author says that the Soviet exhibit in Brussels included Sputnik I, which had returned from orbit after three months. Of course, it did no such thing - it had no re-entry capability and burned up. The one displayed was a copy. The author apparently read that Sputnik was displayed, and inflated that fact with his unverified idea that it was the original. 

I am getting an impression that the author is a poor reader/researcher as well as a poor writer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spotted a few errors in the book and also was impressed by a few things he turned up. Not long after it came out he wrote to me and asked if I could help him with upcoming volumes, and I wrote back right away to say yes. Never heard another word.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm up to page 100, and he sure likes the word "smirk" in dramatizing Disney's and Moses's reactions in various situations. I think that word does not mean what he thinks it does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I've finished it, and it is extremely frustrating in that it uses a lot of apparent personal reminiscences of the students who worked at the Illinois Pavilion and others involved (often without directly quoting them), as well as details gleaned from Illinois commission documents, but has no references to these sources! It only has a "Selected Bibliography," mostly covering books about World's Fairs or the New York World's Fair generally, not specifically the Illinois pavilion. Also, I repeat, it doesn't properly indicate breaks between documented events and dramatizations of them.

Bill, I think you're lucky you didn't get involved with this, as you would have had to redo 90% of it to get something you could be proud of, even if there are a lot of worthwhile, previously unpublished aspects of the development of the Illinois pavilion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×