"Leads us to the important conclusion that heritage tourism is about how people put their selves and their histories into the public eye and the conflicts of representation that arise."--Erve Chambers, author of Native Tours: The Anthropology of Travel and Tourism
Once upon a time, it was impossible to drive through the South without coming across signs to "See Rock City" or similar tourist attractions. From battlegrounds to birthplaces, and sites in between, heritage tourism has always been part of how the South attracts visitors--and defines itself--yet such sites are often understudied in the scholarly literature.
As the contributors to this volume make clear, the narrative of southern history told at these sites is often complicated by race, influenced by local politics, and shaped by competing memories. Included are essays on the meanings of New Orleans cemeteries; Stone Mountain, Georgia; historic Charleston, South Carolina; Yorktown National Battlefield; Selma, Alabama, as locus of the civil rights movement; and the homes of Mark Twain, Margaret Mitchell, and other notables.
Destination Dixie reveals that heritage tourism in the South is about more than just marketing destinations and filling hotel rooms; it cuts to the heart of how southerners seek to shape their identity and image for a broader touring public--now often made up of northerners and southerners alike.
Karen L. Cox is professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and the author of Dixie’s Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture and Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture
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ALLEN NOBLE BOOK AWARD - 2012
Of interest to both general readers and academics, this work reveals how narratives of history told at heritage tourism sites in the American South have been influenced by race, collective memory, economics, and local politics. -- Book News
Fascinating narratives that examine challenging intersections of history, heritage, and memory encountered along the road to historic tourism. -- Choice
Vigorous collection of essays. The expertise and competence of its contributors guarantees a well-documented research that reveals the complexities of telling and selling of southern history. -- European Journal of American Studies
An especially compelling and valuable contribution. . . . The wide span of case studies allows an in-depth understanding of the South and highlights an interesting tension between visitor expectations and the actual variety of historical and regional variation. -- North Carolina Historical Review
A worthwhile rest stop for those interested in exploring the complex interrelationship between tourism and southern history. -- Register of the Kentucky Histoical Society
A superb addition to the flourishing field of tourism studies. -- Journal of American History
Reveal[s] the many conflicting interests involved in tourism and heritage and how these interests shape the narrative of the southern past for its residents and its visitors. -- Southern History
Underscores how powerfully the legacies of slavery, the Civil War, and segregation shape the interpretation of the region’s historic monuments and sites. -- Journal of American Studies
Recommended for those with a passion for southern history and will also be of interest to students and scholars in political science courses as well as hospitality and tourism majors. -- Georgia Library Quarterly
Ably explores the challenges of injecting public history informed by modern scholarship into heritage sites where gatekeepers and visitors do not always embrace it. -- Reviews in American History
[A] thought-provoking consideration of how the various keepers of the region’s neo-Confederate flame have fashioned an ‘imagined’ Southern past that simultaneously reflects commercial and ideological impulses. -- The Historian
An important reminder of how the tourism economy has depended on one of the South’s most important commodities--its history. -- South Carolina Historical Magazine
Reveal[s] the contested ground of history and memory, exposing the ironies and struggles inherent in the process of packaging that history for tourist consumption. -- Florida Historical Quarterly