This is America


Promoting American cross-culturalism at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels.

1 in stock

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“It is our hope that you will become better acquainted with the United States during your visit. Here, in the accomplishments of Americans, you will see much that hs been created because of the unique characteristics of our land and people. However, we know that these achievements stem from working with people everywhere – and are shared by all who love freedom.” [back cover].

This charming guidebook was published in Holland by the U.S. Department of State for public distribution at the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels. With text printed in three languages (English, French, and German), the booklet aimed to encourage an attitude of international cooperation and ‘the peaceful advance of modern civilization’, according to the introduction by President Eisenhower. The 64-page guide includes a floor plan of the exhibit, highlights of American culture & industry, an overview of the system of government, and dozens of black and white photographs.

The highlight is the fold-out map, illustrated by the talented Mary Ronin, an advertising illustrator at Bloomingdales and one of the first female art directors in New York. The image itself shows the United States covered in colorful illustrations of agriculture, industry, and recreational activities. Attractions of note, such as Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, the Alamo and Mission Santa Barbara are also depicted. Labels within each state highlight the primary national origin of its citizens, such as the Germans in Wisconsin and Korean and Chinese in California.

The international theme is quite literally “topped off” with eight figures wearing traditional (and perhaps stereotypical – note the baguettes) dress from their native countries. On the verso is an abstract layout of the United States Pavilion at the fair, which included such attractions as a children’s creative center, a nuclear energy exhibit, and a 206 ft. screen called the Circarama.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1958

Author: U.S. Department of State

Sheet Width (in): 27

Sheet Height (in): 18.75

Condition: A-

Condition Description: 64 pp. guidebook, about 7" x 10", bound in original illustrated stiff paper covers. Wraps are slightly worn, but the contents are in very good condition. Includes fold-out pictorial map with some light spotting visible on the right side (see scan). Very good condition overall.


1 in stock