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Seductive Journey : American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age - Harvey A. Levenstein

Seductive Journey

American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age

Paperback Published: 1st May 2000
ISBN: 9780226473772
Number Of Pages: 398

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For centuries, France has cast an extraordinary spell on travelers. Harvey Levenstein's "Seductive Journey" explains why so many Americans have visited it, and tells, in colorful detail, what they did when they got there. The result is a highly entertaining examination of the transformation of American attitudes toward French food, sex, and culture, as well as an absorbing exploration of changing notions of class, gender, race, and nationality.
Levenstein begins in 1786, when Thomas Jefferson instructed young upper-class American men to travel overseas for self-improvement rather than debauchery. Inspired by these sentiments, many men crossed the Atlantic to develop "taste" and refinement. However, the introduction of the transatlantic steamship in the mid-nineteenth century opened France to people further down the class ladder. As the upper class distanced themselves from the lower-class travelers, tourism in search of culture gave way to the tourism of "conspicuous leisure," sex, and sensuality. Cultural tourism became identified with social-climbing upper-middle-class women. In the 1920s, prohibition in America and a new middle class intent on "having fun" helped make drunken sprees in Paris more enticing than trudging through the Louvre. Bitter outbursts of French anti-Americanism failed to jolt the American ideal of a sensual, happy-go-lucky France, full of "joie de vivre." It remained Americans' favorite overseas destination.
From Fragonard to "foie gras," the delicious details of this story of how American visitors to France responded to changing notions of leisure and blazed the trail for modern mass tourism makes for delightful, thought-provoking reading.
..".a thoroughly readable and highly likable book."--Deirdre Blair, "New York Times Book Review"

Preface
In Search of Taste and Distinction, 1786-1848
Jefferson versus Adams
Getting There Was Not Half the Fun
A Man's World
Eat, Drink, but Be Wary
"The Athens of Modern Europe"
Pleasures of the Flesh
Paris and Tourism Transformed, 1848-1870
Paris Transformed
Keeping Away from the Joneses
The Feminization of American Tourism
Class, Gender, and the Rise of Leisure Tourism, 1870-1914
"The Golden Age of Travel"
Prisoners of Leisure: Upper-Class Tourism
How "The Other Half" Toured
Class, Gender, and the Rise of Antitourism
Machismo, Morality, and Millionaires
The Invasion of the Lower Orders, 1917-1930
Doughboys and Dollars
"How're You Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?"
A Farewell to "Culture Vultures"
Unhappy Hosts, Unwelcome Visitors
Epilogue
Notes
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226473772
ISBN-10: 0226473775
Series: Chicago History of American Civilization Ser.
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 398
Published: 1st May 2000
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.23 x 15.24  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.57
Edition Number: 2
Edition Type: New edition

Earn 139 Qantas Points
on this Book