Seductive Journey: American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age

Seductive Journey American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age For centuries France has cast an extraordinary spell on travelers Harvey Levenstein s Seductive Journey explains why so many Americans have visited it and tells in colorful detail what they did wh

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  • Title: Seductive Journey: American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age
  • Author: Harvey Levenstein
  • ISBN: 9780226473772
  • Page: 272
  • Format: Paperback
  • For centuries, France has cast an extraordinary spell on travelers Harvey Levenstein s Seductive Journey explains why so many Americans have visited it, and tells, in colorful detail, what they did when they got there The result is a highly entertaining examination of the transformation of American attitudes toward French food, sex, and culture, as well as an absorbing eFor centuries, France has cast an extraordinary spell on travelers Harvey Levenstein s Seductive Journey explains why so many Americans have visited it, and tells, in colorful detail, what they did when they got there The result is a highly entertaining examination of the transformation of American attitudes toward French food, sex, and culture, as well as an absorbing exploration of changing notions of class, gender, race, and nationality.Levenstein begins in 1786, when Thomas Jefferson instructed young upper class American men to travel overseas for self improvement rather than debauchery Inspired by these sentiments, many men crossed the Atlantic to develop taste and refinement However, the introduction of the transatlantic steamship in the mid nineteenth century opened France to people further down the class ladder As the upper class distanced themselves from the lower class travelers, tourism in search of culture gave way to the tourism of conspicuous leisure, sex, and sensuality Cultural tourism became identified with social climbing upper middle class women In the 1920s, prohibition in America and a new middle class intent on having fun helped make drunken sprees in Paris enticing than trudging through the Louvre Bitter outbursts of French anti Americanism failed to jolt the American ideal of a sensual, happy go lucky France, full of joie de vivre It remained Americans favorite overseas destination.From Fragonard to foie gras, the delicious details of this story of how American visitors to France responded to changing notions of leisure and blazed the trail for modern mass tourism makes for delightful, thought provoking reading a thoroughly readable and highly likable book Deirdre Blair, New York Times Book Review

    One thought on “Seductive Journey: American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age”

    1. This fascinating book is packed with quotations from published sources and private diaries that segue gracefully into one another to illuminate the changing tastes of American tourists in France from the late eighteenth century until circa 1930. At the same time, it documents the shifting reactions of the French to their American visitors. Particularly intriguing to me were the descriptions of the differences between French and American cultures and lifestyles in the early nineteenth century, an [...]

    2. This is a very well researched and written look at how Amercian tourism to Paris has changed from the beginning of the 19th century up till the end of the 1920s. It charts changing methods of transportation, the rise of the middle class and its impact on tourism and how the tourists themselves have impacted the French. I feel like I've learnt quite a lot from this book and it shows how informative a book on modern history can be when written by a talented researcher.

    3. An interesting work of cultural studies. American tourism to France changed dramatically from Jefferson to the Jazz Age. Only the really rich high society could afford to tour Europe in the days of Jefferson until the industrialization of America. Well connected families of relatively old money would spend months if not years touring France and Europe, spending a large part of their time in Paris. With the arrival of the nouveau riche as a result of 'capitalist' ventures the tourism changed from [...]

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