In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

HUMANITIES 231 one constant whichhis politiqueexpressed, which was thatideology would imperil it. In any case, to tax Pitt for not fathoming what the Revolution itself only discovered in the event, is the sort of ahistorical fantasy against which he set his face. The last two centuries have invented numerous Pitts: all the way from the expiring Christian penitent and lover of his country, through Benjamin Disraeli's populist fancier of Bellamy's pies, to the reactionary hegemonic terrorist of latter-day history from below.Jennifer Mori offers a Humean sceptic at the helm of the Confessional State, who 'never stopped hoping that the revolution would bring some good to France, Britain and the rest of the world,' and whose solution to all problems was surely borrowed, if not in so many words, by the Iron Lady herself: 'I cannot allow myself to doubt.' It bears thinking about. (JOHN MONEY) Harvey Levenstein. Seductive Journey: American Tourists in France from Jefferson to the Jazz Age University of Chicago Press. xiv, 378. us $30.00 Although this study begins with the experiences of Thomas Jefferson and Abigail Adams, and though Levenstein cites diaries and letters throughout in order to register the responses of individuals to the sights and activities of touring, Seductive Journey focuses on trends and fashions in American travel,not on extended treatments ofthe experiences of individuals; no one person's journey through France is traced as a personal narrative. This is a study of ends and means, of the changing inducements to travel and of the changing, and improving, means of crossing oceans and sustaining one's comfort while abroad. It is firmly grounded in the data of disposable income, varying exchange rates, improved tecMology, shiftingexpectations and social class markers, but it is not a heavily theorized book, in the sense of directly addressing the categories of its own discourse. Two of Levenstein 's main categories are'cultural tourism/ visiting museums and monuments , and 'recreational tourism,' travelling for immediate pleasure. He charts the variations between and within these two categories of travet including who comes to be included among their practitioners, in terms of social class, gender, race, and age. The considerable interest and pleasure ofthis book rests in the consistent concreteness of its depictions of the experiences of foreign travel and in its active interest in what Americans in France noticed and thought, in the frequent gaps between what they expected and what they found, and in what the host country thought of the annual visits, in the nineteenth century, of hundreds of thousands of Americans. Anyone who has travelled in France is likely to be interested in Levenstein's reconstructions of the analogous experience _ at various points in the preceding two centuries. In the eighteenth century, the ocean crossing was a true ordeal 232 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 of cramped quarters, bad food, seasickness, and danger, such that Thomas Jefferson stipulated that his daughter, Polly, should only make the crossing between April and July, on a vessel that had made at least one crossing but which was not more than five years old. The evolution of luxury liners in the later nineteenth century is familiar, but the development of travel classes between opulent first class and abysmal steerage seems analogous to the opening up of air travel in recent decades, in terms of its offering the middle classes the chance to cross the Atlantic. That Americans in the 18205 were fascinated with eating in a large room where they were given cards with lists of dishes that they could order at their pleasure - that they had never before been in a restaurant - is one of many interesting glimpses into the development of the infrastructure of mass travel. Another is the development of retail stores with fine and mass-produced goods the perusal and purchase of which came to occupy so many visitors to Paris. Generally, anyone at all familiar with the present sights of Paris will be interested in how this city has changed, and how it has sustained the interest of generations of American travellers. Seductive Journey is more a history of American culture than of French, and Levenstein does not pretend otherwise. Nonetheless, part of...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 231-232
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.