Fascism, National Socialism, and the 1939 New York World’s Fair

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This article considers the involvement of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. It considers the form, function, and content of the Italian Pavilion designed for this fair and asserts that the prefabricated monumental structure would be best interpreted, not in isolation, but as an element of the larger architectural conversation which continued to unfold across contemporary fascist Europe. Such reconsideration of this building makes it possible to evaluate the relationship between Fascist design, the assertion of political will, and the articulation of national identity and cultural heritage within a larger, transnational context. The author also investigates the American exhibition committee’s earnest and persistent, yet ultimately unheeded, solicitation of Nazi German participation and argues that motives behind German withdrawal from this event had as much to do with the threat of popular protest as economic pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-218
Number of pages40
JournalFascism: Journal of Comparative Fascist Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019


  • Fascism
  • National socialism
  • Diplomacy
  • Material culture
  • Heritage
  • National identity
  • International expositions


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