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Columbia University Press

Winnebago Nation: The RV in American Culture

Winnebago Nation: The RV in American Culture

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In Winnebago Nation, popular critic James B. Twitchell takes a light-hearted look at the culture and industry behind the yearning to spend the night in one's car. For the young the roadtrip is a coming-of-age ceremony; for those later in life it is the realization of a lifelong desire to be spontaneous, nomadic, and free. Informed by his own experiences on the road, Twitchell recounts the RV's origins and evolution over the twentieth century; its rise, fall, and rebirth as a cultural icon; its growing mechanical complexity as it evolved from an estate wagon to a converted bus to a mobile home; and its role in bolstering and challenging conceptions of American identity.

Mechanical yet dreamy, independent yet needful, solitary yet clubby, adventurous yet homebound, life in a mobile home is a distillation of the American character and an important embodiment of American exceptionalism, (Richie Rich and Hobo Hank spend time in essentially the same rig at the same campground, albeit for different reasons and in different levels of comfort.) The frontier may be tapped out but we still yearn for the exploratory life. Twitchell concludes with his thoughts on the future of RV communities and the possibility of mobile cities becoming a real part of the American landscape.

Author: James B. Twitchell
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Published: 04/08/2014
Pages: 192
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.00lbs
Size: 8.30h x 5.70w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780231167789

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal 06/01/2014 pg. 120
Choice 06/01/2015 pg. 1680

About the Author
James B. Twitchell taught English and advertising at the University of Florida for many years and is the author of Adcult USA, Lead Us Into Temptation, and Where Men Hide. He has traveled up and down the Eastern Seaboard in a small RV with his wife and driven across the Deep South, up to Newfoundland, and all the way to Alaska.

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