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The Love Story that is America and Consumption

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Lu Maw2 Comments

The WPA guidebooks illustrate the ability travel and tourism has in increasing consumption and appearing to alleviate social conflict through standardization. While the various options of people places and things found in the United States might hint towards a diverse country, the nation’s consistent return to maximizing consumption and free market capitalism constrains its ability to become anything but a …

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When Travel Guides Act as Propaganda and Confine Cultures

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Veronica2 Comments

In “The American Guide Series: Patriotism as Brand-Name Identification,” Andrew Gross critiques Franklin D Roosevelt’s Federal Project One. “The American Guides mobilized the idioms and strategies of corporate advertising to combat a crisis created by corporate capitalism itself” (Gross 2), according to Gross. Essentially, the government sought to give writers who were previously unemployed as a result of the Great …

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Travel! Travel! Read all about it!

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Madison1 Comment

The WPA Guide entitled “Here’s New England: A Guide to Vacationland” begins not with words, but carefully composed and selected black-and-white images of places in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The first few sentences of the introduction are as follows: “Within small compass, New England offers extraordinary diversity of landscape. The glacier sheets have left their traces everywhere: hummocks, knobs, depressions, scattered …

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Travel, The Hottest New Trend

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by MadisonLeave a Comment

In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck wrote about suffering and community in a quest for a better life in California. In A Cool Million, West dismantled the Horatio Alger typecast: perpetual optimism in context of man’s journey to success through hard work and dedication. In Waiting for Nothing, Kromer highlights the grim existence of nomadic stiffs simply fighting for survival …

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Tom Foolery

In The Travel Habit, Steinbeck (1) by AadiLeave a Comment

The home town that the people live in is essentially a bowl of dust. The Narrator leads vivid descriptions of the havoc that the dust bowl ensued. Sallisaw, Oklahoma is labeled as a harrowed ghost town, “The dawn came, but no day. In the gray sky a red sun appeared, a dim red circle that gave a little light, like …

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The Fabricated Travel Industry

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by Lu Maw2 Comments

It is quite shocking to suddenly read about the other travel story of this era – those of employed workers and the social elite who travel for “leisure”. Berkowitz’s piece on mass tourism sheds light on the huge role tourism played in the development of corporate culture and the sustainment of local communities during the depression years. Despite the original …

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We Need A Break

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by Jaxx2 Comments

It’s a phrase we’ve all uttered at least once in our lives. Hell, I’ve sighed, screamed, and cried out that phrase at least three times this school year. Where we are today, vacations are part of life. Schools have a few blocked out each year, the calendars filled with excited doodles of Christmas trees or beach umbrellas. Workers get vacation …

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When Tourism Becomes An Expectation

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by VeronicaLeave a Comment

In “A ‘New Deal’ For Leisure,” the author, Michael Berkowitz, discusses the rise of paid vacation as an economic tactic to push people towards tourism. The idea was that given paid vacation, white-collared workers and their families would be encouraged to spend money traveling and basking in the sights of America. As a result, this spending on tourism would hopefully …

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Relax to Stress

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by Snacks2 Comments

Much of my high school arts education and college liberal arts education has consisted of developing techniques to read between the lines. How can one challenge the status quo, and furthermore, how can one challenge the boundaries of challenging status quo? How can one critique instead of criticize? As a result of this education, I am skeptical of every facet of …

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Romanticization of American Travel

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by Laura2 Comments

Throughout the readings of describing tourism in the United States, the authors talk about the highway and the rough travel while they cover thousands of miles in a car or caravan. It seems as though each piece, specifically Ronald Wild’s Double Crossing America and James Agee’s The American Roadside, discuss the conditions of travel as incredibly unpleasant. The most common …

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A Guide to the Guide Books

In The Travel Habit, WPA guidebooks by Emily4 Comments

“The American Guide Series: Patriotism as Brand-Name Identification” by Andrew S. Gross critiques the WPA American Guide Series. The guides were part of a government program to put thousands of out of work writers to work again. Gross claims that a guide book “…transforms local culture into a tourist attraction, and the tourist attraction into a symbol of national loyalty” …

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The Role of The Worker in Popularizing Travel

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by Khirad1 Comment

The development of the travel habit is often credited to the role of consumerism and new markets dedicated to the promotion of travel throughout America. A quote from Don Thomas, one of the leaders of the tourism promotional industry during this time, summarized this when he said that “the travel habit was not born with most Americans. It’s an acquired …

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Appreciating America

In The Travel Habit, Tourism during the Depression by Emily1 Comment

The first chapter of Double-Crossing America by Roland Wild explores the struggles of the narrator’s road trip to San Francisco. Unlike the other selections we read this semester, the travelers in this story are an upper middle class couple traveling with their daughter and their daughter’s nanny. While I am certainly not as wealthy as the narrator (16 room house? …