The 1889 Exposition Universelle would be forgotten by all but a few were it not for the centerpiece of the affair—the brand new Eiffel Tower. Jill Jonnes has earned a fine reputation for her writings on urban history, and her latest effort is certain to add to it. She not only delves into the design and construction of Eiffel’s masterpiece, she discusses popular and artistic reactions to it. All of this is outlined against storylines as fascinating as Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, Rosa Bonheur, Thomas Edison, and an absolutely unforgettable analysis of the building of the Tower’s elevator. The author is one of those few scholars who have the ability to make their writing as riveting and tempting as the finest novel. I went from knowing little beyond the commonplace about the Eiffel Tower and nothing whatsoever about the 1889 Paris World’s Fair to being an individual captivated by the Belle Époque and the critical role it played in guaranteeing Paris’s place in French, and world, culture.