Power and Paradise in Walt Disney's World
Cher Krause Knight
“Well-researched and concise. By approaching Walt Disney World as a multilayered text with many meanings, Knight appreciates its complexity as a popular culture artifact worthy of admiration and scrutiny.”—Journal of American Culture
“[An] accessible overview of how Disney imagines its ‘magic’ to work.”—Florida Historical Quarterly
"A roller coaster of a book that will leave you marveling. With intelligence and a sense of fun, Knight reframes Disney World as a pilgrimage center, a Garden of Eden, and a World's Fair. A great read and a real contribution to Disney literature and the Disney World experience."—Harriet F. Senie, author of The "Tilted Arc" Controversy: Dangerous Precedent?
"Approaching Disney and his 'magic lands' from the vantage point of scholar and enthusiast, Knight interweaves astute observations about globalized cultural production and the built environment while her crisp writing makes for a lively and engaging read."—Sarah Schrank, author of Art and the City
"Knight's insights on Disney as an intrepid planner, inventor, innovator, and iconoclast—and his fascination and deployment of technology that bridges private desire with the public realm—has pressing relevance for contemporary culture."—Patricia Phillips, Rhode Island School of Design
In this fascinating analysis, Cher Krause Knight peels back the actual and contextual layers of Walt Disney's inspiration and vision for Disney World in central Florida, exploring the reasons why the resort has emerged as such a prominent sociocultural force.
Knight investigates every detail, from the scale and design of the buildings to the sidewalk infrastructure to which items could and could not be sold in the shops, discussing how each was carefully configured to shape the experience of every visitor. Expertly weaving themes of pilgrimage, paradise, fantasy, and urbanism, she delves into the unexpected nuances and contradictions of this elaborately conceived playland of the imagination.
Cher Krause Knight, professor of art history at Emerson College, is the author of Public Art: Theory, Practice and Populism. She is also coeditor of A Companion to Public Art and Museums and Public Art?.
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- Table of Contents
Delv[es] into over 20 years of research to discover the inner workings of
the childhood wonderland.
Offer[s] a fairly comprehensive but accessible overview of how Disney imagines its ‘magic’ to work.
--Florida Historical Quarterly
Well-researched and concise. By approaching Walt Disney World as a multilayered text with many meanings, Knight appreciates its complexity as a popular culture artifact worthy of admiration and scrutiny.
--Journal of American Culture