Souvenirs of the Old South:
Northern Tourism and Southern Mythology

Rebecca Cawood McIntyre

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"Written in a clear, accessible, and lively style, Souvenirs of the Old South will be the foundational work for subsequent scholars and readers interested in tourism in the New South."--W. Fitzhugh Brundage, author of The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory

"This study of southern images offers readers a glimpse of how history, culture, race, and class came together in the tourist imagination. If the South emerged from the Civil War a distinctive place, Rebecca McIntyre would remind us that’s because distinctiveness sells."--Richard Starnes, author of Creating the Land of the Sky: Tourism and Society in Western North Carolina

Less than a decade after the conclusion of the Civil War, northern promoters began pushing images of a mythic South to boost tourism. By creating a hierarchical relationship based on region and race in which northerners were always superior, promoters saw tourist dollars begin flowing southward, but this cultural construction was damaging to southerners, particularly African Americans.

Rebecca McIntyre focuses on the years between 1870 and 1920, a period framed by the war and the growth of automobile tourism. These years were critical in the creation of the South’s modern identity, and she reveals that tourism images created by northerners for northerners had as much effect on making the South "southern" as did the most ardent proponents of the Lost Cause. She also demonstrates how northern tourism contributed to the worsening of race relations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Rebecca Cawood McIntyre is assistant professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University.
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"McIntyre succinctly and fluidly makes thematic claims for the development of southern identities. Precisely, McIntyre, within the framework of the themes examined, attempts to showcase how southern culture was created as the consumable "other," distinct from an American cultural ideal represented within tourism promotion by the northern, industrial landscape. Even though numerous helpful illustrations are presented, they are not needed as McIntyre's written descriptions rival them, often proving more beneficial. McIntyre greatly details each specific theme using carefully selected sources and images instead of broadly glossing over each one. McIntyre's take on African Americans in tourist promotion proves to be, by far, the most analytical and insightful. McIntyre expertly illustrates black culture's stereotyping and selling mainly for white benefit and amusement." Southern Historian, XXXIII

"…a richly detailed and finely written book that provides another window onto that ever-enticing question of southern identity. It is perfect for anyone interested in the postwar South, travel literature, or the Gilded Age." Journal of American History

"…a valuable contribution to the literature on tourism and tourism promotion. By bringing a much-needed perspective to popular views of the region, McIntyre challenges scholars to reevaluate the conventional wisdom about the making of an imagined South." Journal of Southern History

“ a welcome addition to a growing literature on the impact of tourism on the construction of identity and memory” Winterthur Portfolio

“A valuable addition to the tourism literature and cultural histories of the South” American Studies Volume 53, No. 1

Provides much insight into the history of American tourism, southern identity, and white northern bourgeois culture. The broad selection of visual resources . . . will prove invaluable.-- Journal of Social History

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