New York University Press
For most of human history, long-distance trips were, at best, a hassle and, at worst, life-threatening. Descriptions of travel during the early years of American independence, for example, abound with muddy roads, wretched food, dismal sleeping arrangements, and a general unhealthiness. Abigail Adams dreaded the trip back to Massachusetts from the new capital at Washington in 1801 as “a mountain before me,” as a result of the “many horrid Rivers to cross and such Roads to traverse.” Even elite travelers like Adams needed a few days of rest just to recover from the journey itself. What impact, then, would a rash of new roads, canals, or even railroads have upon travel in the United States? Could this mundane task ever become pleasurable? How might the hassles of getting from one place to another be transformed into a desirable experience? Will B. Mackintosh tackles this question in his excellent new book, Selling the Sights: The Invention of the Tourist in American Culture.
"Selling the Sights: The Invention of the Tourist in American Culture,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 21
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol21/iss4/11