"The Fair and the Falls: Spokane's Expo '74" by J. William T. Youngs

Friday, June 14, 2024 - 7:00pm

J. William T. Young (aka Bill) will be joining us at Auntie's in celebration of the re-release of his book The Fair and the Falls: Spokane's Expo '74, now in paperback! Make Auntie's one of your stops during the Expo's 50th anniversary celebrations!

Friday, June 14th at 7pm at Auntie's Bookstore
(402 W Main Ave) 

This event is free and open to the public.
RSVP below! (But feel free to stop in day of.)

About the book

J. William T. Youngs-- better known simply as "Bill"-- is embarking on his second half century as a history professor at Eastern Washington University. His prize-winning book, The Fair and the Falls, tells the story of Spokane's Expo '74 within the framework of Spokane's entire history. We learn about the town's earliest fairs among the virgin pines and under railway trestles as a prelude to the story of its magnificent world's fair in 1974.

The protagonist of the story is the Spokane River itself. At first it beckons town-builder James Glover with its existential beauty and its potential utility. Then it powers Spokane to its position as the industrial hub of the Inland Northwest. During the early twentieth century the city thrived, but the river was all but forgotten, lost in a clutter of railway trestles, parking lots, and warehouses. During the 1950s suburban malls drew most of the shopping traffic out of downtown Spokane. The heart of the city was tawdry and financially strapped. What to do?

At this point, in 1964, local citizens hired King Cole, who turned out to be one of the most visionary and charismatic urban planners of his time. Cole led the movement that enabled Spokane to become the smallest city in the world to hold a world's fair. Additionally, Expo '74 was the first world fair to embrace an environmental theme. And the environment, notably the Spokane River, thrived during and after the fair. With urban clutter peeled back, the falls of the river now thunder through the heart of Riverfront Park-- arguably the most arresting riverscape in any American city.

 

About the author

Bill Youngs, a graduate of Harvard (BA, 1963) and Berkeley (Ph.D., 1970), is currently completing his fifty-second year as a professor of American history at Eastern Washington University. He  teaches several environmentally-themed courses, notably “The History of National Parks” and “The History of the American Wilderness.” He has published five books and is currently working on an anthology of Klondike gold rush narratives and a book about the role of the Washburn-Langford expedition in the founding of Yellowstone National Park. He has just republished his award-winning account of Expo’74., The Fair and the Falls.

 

Event address: 
Auntie's Bookstore
402 W Main Ave
Spokane, WA 99201
Books: 
The Fair and the Falls: Spokane's Expo '74 By J. William T. Youngs Cover Image
$29.95
ISBN: 9798218400941
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: J. William T. Youngs - March 19th, 2024

J. William T. Youngs-- better known simply as "Bill"-- is embarking on his second half century as a history professor at Eastern Washington University. His prize-winning book, The Fair and the Falls, tells the story of Spokane's Expo '74 within the framework of Spokane's entire history.