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The Government and The Arts

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by AgneLeave a Comment

‘The US Government’ and ‘The Arts’ seem like two entirely different and unrelated entities. The government seems too bureaucratic to be a patron of the arts. While the art world seems too experimental to try and align itself with a structured government. I understand the thought process of some of the people that Andrew Gross discusses in The American Guide …

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Voyage through time, through life

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by EsabelleYC1 Comment

Double-crossing America is a storybook written by Roland Wild; he uses an English writer in the first voice to describe the challenges faced by a group of people as they venture outside America. However, Double-crossing America derives its epic scope from how the antagonist in the story and other characters such as Bill and Susan manages to overcome challenges as …

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Concrete Jungle

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Aadi1 Comment

I was born and raised in New York City. I love learning about the city’s history, so when I saw that there was an old travel guide about the five boroughs I jumped at the chance to read it. I was immediately surprised at how large the travel guide was. At over 800 pages, it was more of a dictionary …

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Nowhere, USA

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by Aadi1 Comment

When I saw that James Agee wrote “American Roadside”, I thought this piece would be similar to his “Let Us Praise Famous Men,” but I was pleasantly surprised to see that this piece was much different.  It is a journalistic piece that was written for Fortune magazine (as was “Let Us Praise Famous Men” but I think the difference is …

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We Like to Critique Consumerism

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Laura1 Comment

The American Guide Series: Patriotism as Brand-Name Identification by Andrew S. Gross depicts tour guides as something that homogenizes a state and suggests that the world is knowable and therefore controllable. He takes tour guides to this realm of discourse that has them as something that is a detriment to our society because they provide safety for the visitor through …

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The Difficulty of Guide Books

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Michael1 Comment

In Andrew Gross’s critique of the WPA American guide book, he points to a conflict of interest that many of my classmates have already pointed out. Namely, in producing a guide book about travel in a particular region, it is impossible to convey all of the detail of an area without making the narrative extremely disinteresting. So in order to …

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Living Books

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Jaxx3 Comments

Personally, I find that the WPA Guides served as a nice idea to kill two birds with one stone, if you will. One, they put writers to work and 2. They served as a push to get people to travel, for if you had the guide to New Orleans then why not travel New Orleans? I’m a bit mystified, though, …

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On the Commodification of Race

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by WaxS1 Comment

In the introduction to his article titled “The American Guide Series: Patriotism as Brand-Name Identification,” Andrew S. Gross writes that race does factor into the American Guide Series’ mobilization of the “idioms and strategies of corporate advertising to combat a crisis created by corporate capitalism” (2), but as background information. Race is, he says, “included in the scenery as an …

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Have I Seen Their Faces?

In The Travel Habit, Photo-Text books by Aadi1 Comment

The photo text book, “You Have Seen Their Faces,’ by Caldwell and Bourke-White, points towards a major issue in photojournalism, authenticity. The portraits themselves are completely authentic. but the captions the photographers chose to place under them are completely incorrect. They place an insane bias and twist the actual words of the people shot to a completely different meaning. This …

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In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (2) by AadiLeave a Comment

The beauty of ‘Grapes of Wrath’ is that the family joined together to persevere through the difficult times. In traveling away from their native farm, they all risked their own lives. The entire family quickly realized they would have to put their individual motives aside for the greater good of the people. Each member has their own personality and driving …

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Stereotypes in Guidebooks

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Khirad2 Comments

The popularity of travel guides intersects with a variety of themes on the role of art and government, the complexities of cultural exchange, and the role of the average American in the development of regional identity. However, one of the most interesting aspects of these travel guides is the author’s preferred method in addressing regional culture and stereotypes through their …