Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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pp. 4-4

Copyright

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pp. 5-7

Contents

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pp. 8-9

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A Note on America and Americans

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pp. ix-11

Throughout this book, I use “American” to describe people and things from the Western Hemisphere—all of it. When I mean people and things from the United States, I use the adjective “U.S.” or some similar locution. In a book that is about the travels of people from the United States...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

“Was there ever such a change?” asked Ida Starr, steaming south from New York City to the Caribbean and “feeling as serene and happy as a woman in a white linen frock can feel.” She was not alone in her pleasure: “Every one must have gone down into every one’s trunk this morning” to find white attire suitable for the warming...

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1. A Regulated Arcadia

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pp. 15-40

In a fable set in the 1850s and published in the U.S. magazine Overland Monthly in 1870, two young white men from the United States sail from New York for the California goldfields. As they wait for canoes to take them across the Isthmus of Panama, one falls ill with “isthmus fever” and is tended by a young local woman...

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2. More and More Attractive Each Year

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pp. 41-72

“Day cold rainy and generally disagreeable,” adventure writer Kirk Munroe jotted in his diary on November 28, 1881, the day he paddled a canoe south from Jacksonville, Florida, launching a 1,600- mile, water- borne tour of the state. After foundering in some rapids on November 30, he hauled his gear onto land to dry it...

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3. Fountain of Youth

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pp. 73-95

The climate of Southern California “is described as semi- tropical,” Charles Dudley Warner noted, and that fact raised a serious question: “Will these mild qualities of climate and condition in any injurious degree undermine and deteriorate the Anglo- Saxon energy and thrift?” Although the settlement of the region by whites constituted...

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4. Dressing for the Tropics

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pp. 96-123

In 1900, Cosmopolitan published a didactic little essay entitled “What Is a Gentleman?— A Lady?” on the importance of dressing appropriately. The four conversationalists agree that Adam— the original Adam— was a gentleman in his time despite his lack of clothing, but “ ‘we have to conform to the habits of our class, whatever that class...

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5. Lands of Romance [Contains Image Plates]

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pp. 124-149

In 1936, the white U.S. travel writer Sidney Clark took a walk through Havana’s red- light district— but instead of perpetrating the prostitution of a nation, he staged a fable of modern marriage. Accompanied by his wife and another white U.S. couple, the writer sought the “ ‘star- eyed, radiant- faced señoritas’ ” who danced and drank...

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6. Spontaneous Capital Invisibly Exported

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pp. 150-177

In 1926, a leading Mexican statesman and philosopher, José Vasconcelos, announced to an audience in Chicago that “there exists a deep, important difference between the people of Latin America and the people of Anglo- Saxon America.” He tactfully did not spell out that difference, typically rendered in Latin American literature...

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7. The Most Ideal Winter Resorts

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pp. 178-185

By the 1930s, tourism, along with commercial horticulture, had come to seem the best, most civilized use of the tropics. The Southland, a transnational playground formed by an imputed tropicality, a sense of leisure and gaiety, Latin architecture and indigenous and African- flavored festivals, intense and constant sunshine, and amazingly...

Notes

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pp. 187-240

Index

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pp. 241-252

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 253-255

The publication of this book is highly improbable, and I am deeply grateful to everyone who made it possible. I owe Peggy Shaffer the greatest intellectual debt for telling me that my project was about the relationship between nature and culture. This insight freed me from other, less fruitful rubrics and galvanized my...