"Sears offers us not only an explanation of the popularity of certain tourist spots but also an enlightening discussion of the role that tourism played in helping Americans fashion a distinctive national culture in the six decades after 1820".--"American Historical Review". 85 illustrations.
John P. Sears is executive director of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute in Hyde Park, New York.
"Sears offers us not only an explanation of the popularity of certain tourist spots but also an enlightening discussion of the role that tourism played in helping Americans fashion a distinctive national culture in the six decades after 1820." - American Historical Review - "Sears's study is unique in its focus on nineteenth-century tourism and its role in shaping American culture. This book is no mere description of tourist attractions but rather a sophisticated analysis of their contribution to America's cultural awareness." - History - "Absorbing and scrupulously researched ... Sears's observations on a significant form of American leisure have the snap and sparkle of Winslow Homer's pictures of young parasol-twirling female divinities gracing the New Jersey shore." - Washington Post - "Originally promoted by the educated elite and by leading writers and painters, tourism has since become a democratic mass movement. What makes Sacred Places important as well as interesting is that by tracing the history of tourist attractions to their origins. Sears supplies a certain perspective." - The Nation - "Elegantly written essays about the world of the genteel tourist in the nineteenth century ... [Sacred Places] is laden with insights about what the public expects from its history, and would be especially valuable for those public historians who serve tourists today at scenic and historical sites." - Public Historian - "A work of exceptional intelligence and deep research. It is essential reading for all students of landscape history." - Simon Schama, Columbia University - "Sears's book is the authoritative study of American tourism at its nineteenth-century point of origin. Using sensitive readings of literature, visual imagery, and geography, this book offers a complex, convincing account of a phenomenon too often dismissed as just another example of 'commercialism.'" - Karal Ann Marling, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
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