Cover image for On holiday : a history of vacationing
On holiday : a history of vacationing
Löfgren, Orvar.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiv, 320 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Subject Term:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
G156 .L56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



L#65533;fgren takes us on a tour of the Western holiday world and shows how two centuries of "learning to be a tourist" have shaped our own ways of vacationing. We see how fashions in destinations have changed through the years, with popular images (written, drawn, painted, and later photographed) teaching the tourist what to look for and how to experience it. Travelers present and future will never see their cruises, treks, ecotours, round-the-world journeys, or trips to the vacation cottage or condo in quite the same way again. All our land-, sea-, and mindscapes will be the richer for L#65533;fgren's insights.

Author Notes

Orvar Lofgren, Professor of European Ethnology at the University of Lund, Sweden, has written a dozen books.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Lofgren, a professor of European enthology in Sweden, has written several books (i.e., Culture Builders: A Historical Anthropology of Middle-Class Life). Here he uses concepts and ideas from various social science disciplines, as well as frequent literary examples, to explore the history of tourism in the United States and Europe. He notes the inherent tensions in tourism: the desire to see everything v. the desire to get away from it all, the local v. the global, and the quest for novelty despite the commodification of tourism. He uses examples like vacation cottages, bus tours, the idea of "the beach," and souvenirs to make his arguments. The most interesting parts, however, are those that touch upon issues such as gender, morality, and class. Although the text occasionally wanders, overall it is interesting and well researched. Recommended for social science and social history collections.ÄKathleen A. Shanahan, Kensington, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

On Holiday is one of the most enjoyable books on travel published in recent years. Fundamentally, it is an insightful investigation of "elsewhereness," written with humor that in no way detracts from the author's serious scholarship. L"ofgren traces the origins of tourism to 18th-century pioneers--seekers of knowledge, adventure, or difference--and describes how "learning to be a tourist" has transformed the idea of "leisure" from elite pursuit to global industry. It is also through tourism and tourism-derived images that people obtain much of their sense of the outside world. The author analyzes the constant linking of the local and transnational, the steady flow in and out, not only of visitors, but also of images, icons, fantasies, and marketing strategies. What he avoids is easy shots at tourists as generic spoilers of the pristine, although he does not shy from pointing out, for example, how resort development has paved over much of the Mediterranean shore. In a study that ranges from Continental spas to wilderness trekking, there should be something for every reader. For this reviewer, the discussion on early Scandinavian tourism, and what the author terms "cottage cultures" (those getaway places of urban imagination), was particularly valuable. Highly recommended. All levels. O. Pi-Sunyer; University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Part 1 Landscapes and Mindscapes
Looking for Sightsp. 13
On the Movep. 41
Telling Storiesp. 72
Part 2 Getaways
Cottage Culturesp. 109
The Mediterranean in the Age of the Package Tourp. 155
Part 3 Between the Local and the Global
The Global Beachp. 213
Resort Ruinsp. 240
Looking for Touristsp. 260
Notesp. 283
Selected bibliographyp. 307
Indexp. 311