“Beautiful Beyond Belief”: Cultural Tourism Survives

in We'll Always Have Paris

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780226473789
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226473802 | DOI:
“Beautiful Beyond Belief”: Cultural Tourism Survives

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Many middle-class American tourists in Europe by 1930, especially males, were dismissing the search for high culture as something of interest only to social-climbing women. They defined human achievement in terms of the industrial and commercial prowess, at which America excelled, and felt no need to slog through museums trying to decipher the Old Masters' allegorical paintings. Well-educated women continued to provide a good market for this kind of cultural tourism. Cultural tourism also persisted on the agendas of the large group tours that still occasionally swept through France. The students on junior-year-abroad programs were probably the best able to benefit from France's cultural opportunities. For some white Americans, learning to accommodate themselves to interracial couples may have been the most culturally improving aspect of their trip to France.

Keywords: middle-class; American tourists; Well-educated women; cultural tourism; France

Chapter.  5264 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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