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Are we there yet? : the golden age of American family vacations / Susan Sessions Rugh.

By: Rugh, Susan Sessions.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Culture America: Publisher: Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2008Description: xii, 240 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.ISBN: 9780700615889 (cloth : alk. paper); 0700615881 (cloth : alk. paper); 9780700617593 (pbk. : alk. paper); 0700617590 (pbk. : alk. paper).Subject(s): Family vacations -- United States -- History -- 20th century | Family vacations -- Social aspects -- United States | National characteristics, American | Families -- United States -- History -- 20th century | United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century | GeschichteAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Are we there yet?DDC classification: 973.92
Contents:
Selling the family vacation -- Pilgrimage -- Vacation without humiliation -- Western adventure -- Back to nature -- Summer in the country.
Summary: When TV celebrity Dinah Shore sang "See the USA in your Chevrolet," 1950s America took her to heart. Every summer, parents piled the kids in the back seat, threw the luggage in the trunk, and took to the open highway. Chronicling this innately American ritual, Susan Rugh presents a cultural history of the American middle-class family vacation from 1945 to 1973, tracing its evolution from the establishment of this summer tradition to its decline.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
E161 .R84 2008 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001941699

Includes bibliographical references (p. [215]-225) and index.

Selling the family vacation -- Pilgrimage -- Vacation without humiliation -- Western adventure -- Back to nature -- Summer in the country.

When TV celebrity Dinah Shore sang "See the USA in your Chevrolet," 1950s America took her to heart. Every summer, parents piled the kids in the back seat, threw the luggage in the trunk, and took to the open highway. Chronicling this innately American ritual, Susan Rugh presents a cultural history of the American middle-class family vacation from 1945 to 1973, tracing its evolution from the establishment of this summer tradition to its decline.

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Library Journal Review

The family road trip, perhaps best immortalized by the Griswold family in the film National Lampoon's Vacation, is the subject here taken up by Rugh (history, Brigham Young Univ.; Our Common Country). From the end of World War II to the 1973 oil crisis, the U.S. summer family vacation was an American staple, fueled by postwar prosperity, the increased prevalence of car ownership, and more liberal vacation benefits. Here, Rugh explores the different types of vacation destinations--from dude ranches and theme parks to family camping sites and the National Park System--revealing not only the factors that led to the creation of such places but also how they came to define the postwar consumer society and the nuclear family. She also looks at how the difficulties Jews and African Americans encountered traveling in a segregated society led to their developing their own travel industry and culture. (African American travel played a role in the Civil Rights Movement, as travelers demanded equal access to hotels, restaurants, and national parks.) Well researched and a valuable addition to the study of 20th-century popular culture and history; recommended for academic and larger public libraries.--Mike Miller, Austin P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Older readers will recall fondly the vacations described by Rugh (Brigham Young Univ.): families touring in their loaded station wagon, visiting Disneyland or camping in national parks. Considering the years between the end of WW II and the gasoline crisis of the early 1970s, she explores the place and importance of family vacations for white middle-class Americans. Rugh focuses on particular vacation styles or the trials of subordinate groups--African Americans being denied food and lodging in both northern and southern states; Jews forced to create their own vacation places in New York's Catskills. Unfortunately, for all her good points, Rugh has a hard time focusing. She begins with the idea of family vacations as somehow connecting people with their American heritage, but fails to analyze thoroughly this idea. She uses statistics on cost and on bear attacks, but never provides comparative data. A careful editing could have eliminated much of the repetition and qualified some ridiculous ideas (selling travel trailers as fallout shelters). She seems to use available research rather than a complete analysis. Of interest to general readers; there is little for serious scholars. Summing Up: Optional. Public libraries/general collections. D. R. Jamieson Ashland University

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