Jill Jonnes
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Portrait of Jill JonnesWelcome!

My new book, Eiffel’s Tower, is set in Belle Epoque Paris, and tells the story of the tallest tower, the World’s Fair of 1889, art, Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Indians, Edison, French esthetes, Americans in Paris, and the rise of colonial empire.

After publishing two books, South Bronx Rising and Hep-cats, Narcs, and Pipe Dreams, about dying cities, drugs, and American failure, I wanted to consider American success. In Empires of Light and Conquering Gotham, I enjoyed writing about the Gilded Age titans who created our modern world: Edison, Westinghouse, Tesla, J.P. Morgan, Carnegie, Roosevelt, Hearst, Pulitzer, Cassatt, Rea, Boss Croker, and myriad colorful characters.

In Eiffel’s Tower, the arena shifts to late 19th century Paris, with its global cast of millionaires, royals and potentates, artists, inventors, courtesans, engineers, and showmen, each determined to outshine all rivals at the Exposition Universelle, where Gustave Eiffel’s 1000-foot tower heralded the 20th century. Story stop.


News and Events

The Rise & Fall of Penn Station. Premiering February 18, 2014.

PBS's American Experience airs documentary based on Conquering Gotham – Premiering February 18th

Cover of Conquering Gotham: Building Penn Station and Its Tunnels.See the movie! Read the book!

Conquering Gotham: Building Penn Station and Its Tunnels

As the nineteenth century ended, Pennsylvania Railroad president Alexander Cassatt sought some way—other than huge fleets of ferries from New Jersey—to bring the PRR's tens of millions of passengers into water-locked Gotham.
Read more…

Paperback of Eiffel's Tower now available!

The Story of the world-famous monument and the extraordinary world’s fair that introduced it.

This history of the Eiffel Tower offers an eye-opening look not only at the construction of one of the modern world’s most iconic structures, but also the epochal event that surrounded its arrival as a wonder of the world. In this marvelously entertaining portrait of Belle Époque France, fear and loathing over Eiffel’s brash design share the spotlight with the celebrities that made the 1889 Exposition Universelle an event to remember—including Buffalo Bill and his sharpshooter Annie Oakley, Thomas Edison, and artists Whistler, Gauguin, and van Gogh.

Eiffel’s Tower is a richly textured portrait of an era at the dawn of modernity, reveling in the limitless promise of the future.

ISBN: 9780143117292
Price: $16.00
B&W photos throughout


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New Release: Eiffel's Tower by Jill Jonnes
Eiffel's Tower:
And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count. Read more…

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Other titles by Jill Jonnes
South Bronx Rising by Jill Jonnes Hep-cats, Narcs and Pipe Dreams by Jill Jonnes Empires of Light by Jill Jonnes Conquering Gotham by Jill Jonnes
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