TheGreatAmericanAmusementParksBlack[Book: Gary Kyriazi – 1978 Second printing – 22x25cm – 256 Pages – Many B&W photos]. The amusement park had its origins in eighteenth-century France. It began as a bucolic gathering place where children might frolic, lovers discover each other, and families picnic and drink beer in a festive atmosphere. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, such gardens had proliferated all over the Continent and the British Isles. Gradually, rides and other attractions were added. In America picnic groves and beer gardens were popular in the early nineteenth century and blossomed into true amusement parks after 1860, when Coney Island emerged as the nation’s premier park. Chapter Points: Introduction; The Evolution of the Amusement Park; Coney Island; Steeplechase Park, Luna Park and Dreamland; The American Amusement Parks-East to West; Disneyland and the Theme Parks; America’s Top 100 Parks; Index. ANDY SHINE’S RATING: Excellent / Recommended.