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Freedomland U.S.A.: The Definitive History

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The Story of America's Park After being fired by Walt Disney, the flamboyant C.V. Wood brought his hard-won experience as the self-titled "master builder of Disneyland" east, to a marsh in the Bronx, where in 1960 he unveiled his greatest project, a doomed theme park to tell the history of America: Freedomland. Wood's efforts to build his "Disneyland of the East," a themed c The Story of America's Park After being fired by Walt Disney, the flamboyant C.V. Wood brought his hard-won experience as the self-titled "master builder of Disneyland" east, to a marsh in the Bronx, where in 1960 he unveiled his greatest project, a doomed theme park to tell the history of America: Freedomland. Wood's efforts to build his "Disneyland of the East," a themed collection of lands that presented epic moments in American history as thrill rides, shows, and live action, were plagued from the start by politics, cost overruns, and financial chicanery. Despite these obstacles, the park prospered—until its big-money backers (as they had planned from the start) pulled the plug and cleared the land for lucrative urban development. Through a well-researched narrative, personal and newspaper accounts, interviews, and exclusive photos, journalist and author Michael R. Virgintino presents the definitive history of Freedomland, from the people behind its creation, and the executives, entertainers, and sponsors who kept it running, to in-depth looks at each of its historically themed lands, and an analysis of the park's inevitable bankruptcy in 1964. Unlike Disneyland, the story of Freedomland does not have a happily ever after, but theme park fans will not want to miss this captivating but cautionary tale of America's park.


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The Story of America's Park After being fired by Walt Disney, the flamboyant C.V. Wood brought his hard-won experience as the self-titled "master builder of Disneyland" east, to a marsh in the Bronx, where in 1960 he unveiled his greatest project, a doomed theme park to tell the history of America: Freedomland. Wood's efforts to build his "Disneyland of the East," a themed c The Story of America's Park After being fired by Walt Disney, the flamboyant C.V. Wood brought his hard-won experience as the self-titled "master builder of Disneyland" east, to a marsh in the Bronx, where in 1960 he unveiled his greatest project, a doomed theme park to tell the history of America: Freedomland. Wood's efforts to build his "Disneyland of the East," a themed collection of lands that presented epic moments in American history as thrill rides, shows, and live action, were plagued from the start by politics, cost overruns, and financial chicanery. Despite these obstacles, the park prospered—until its big-money backers (as they had planned from the start) pulled the plug and cleared the land for lucrative urban development. Through a well-researched narrative, personal and newspaper accounts, interviews, and exclusive photos, journalist and author Michael R. Virgintino presents the definitive history of Freedomland, from the people behind its creation, and the executives, entertainers, and sponsors who kept it running, to in-depth looks at each of its historically themed lands, and an analysis of the park's inevitable bankruptcy in 1964. Unlike Disneyland, the story of Freedomland does not have a happily ever after, but theme park fans will not want to miss this captivating but cautionary tale of America's park.

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