Working at Play: A History of Vacations in the United States

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en Limba Engleză Paperback – 17 May 2001
In Working at Play, Cindy Aron offers the first full length history of how Americans have vacationed--from eighteenth-century planters who summered in Newport to twentieth-century urban workers who headed for camps in the hills. In the early nineteenth century, vacations were taken for health more than for fun, as the wealthy traveled to watering places, seeking cures for everything from consumption to rheumatism. But starting in the 1850s, the growth of a white- collar middle class and the expansion of railroads made vacationing a mainstream activity. Aron charts this growth with grace and insight, tracing the rise of new vacation spots as the nation and the middle class blossomed. She shows how late nineteenth-century resorts became centers of competitive sports--bowling, tennis, golf, hiking, swimming, and boating absorbed the hours. But as vacationing grew, she writes, fears of the dangers of idleness grew with it. Religious camp grounds, where gambling, drinking, and bathing on Sundays were prohibited, became established resorts. At the same time 'self improvement' vacations began to flourish, allowing a middle class still uncomfortable with the notion of leisure to feel productive while at play. With vivid detail and much insight, Working at Play offers a lively history of the vacation, throwing new light on the place of work and rest in American culture.
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ISBN-13: 9780195142341
ISBN-10: 0195142349
Pagini: 336
Ilustrații: numerous half tones
Dimensiuni: 154 x 235 x 22 mm
Greutate: 0.46 kg
Ediția: Revised
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


The book is an original and ambitious undertaking, grounded in enterprising archival research in business records and private papers. It will be required reading in its field...
... accessible survey of the history of holidaymaking in the United States before the Second World War.
... interesting and well-written ... It opens out a neglected subject, and one whose economic and cultural importance is only now becoming apparent to conventionally-minded historians. It should attract the critical attention of social and cultural historians on both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond.