Posts tagged “books

American Tourism Now Available!

Posted on June 15, 2012

American Tourism: Constructing a National Tradition is now available to order from your favorite bookseller. American Tourism reveals the remarkable stories behind the places Americans love to visit. From Independence Hall to Las Vegas, and from Silver Springs to Seattle’s Pike Place Market, the collection draws back the curtain on many of America’s most successful tourist traps to reveal the carefully hidden backstory of transforming places into destinations. Readers will discover that a powerful creative process, rather than chance, has separated the enduring attractions from the many failures that litter the highways and byways of tourism history. American Tourism‘s thirty-five lively, illustrated essays tap the expertise of the country’s leading academic and public historians, writers, and tourism professionals. The contributors illuminate the visionaries who created iconic destinations and…

To See, or to Be: That is the Question

Posted on May 11, 2012

Living history is woven tightly into the fabric of American tourism. Places stage culture for the visiting public, often donning costumes and sometimes “getting into character.” Yet tourists have always sought more than spectacle, choosing participatory travel experiences whenever possible. Literature, film, and television stimulate travelers to seek out places associated with fiction, and here, too, tourists like to immerse themselves in imaginary place. Highlighting a North Carolina tour company that builds upon the current zeal for the post-apocalyptic film The Hunger Games, a recent Reuters article explores the popularity of literary and Hollywood tourism, pointing to the increasingly sophisticated packaging of experiences that let the consumer walk in a character’s shoes. Almost a decade ago, the late historian Jim Weeks argued in Gettysburg: Memory, Market,…