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Oxford University Press, USA

Working at Play

Working at Play

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In Working at Play, Cindy Aron offers the first full length history of how Americans have vacationed--from eighteenth-century planters who summered in Newport to twentieth-century urban workers who headed for camps in the hills. In the early nineteenth century, vacations were taken for health
more than for fun, as the wealthy traveled to watering places, seeking cures for everything from consumption to rheumatism. But starting in the 1850s, the growth of a white- collar middle class and the expansion of railroads made vacationing a mainstream activity. Aron charts this growth with grace
and insight, tracing the rise of new vacation spots as the nation and the middle class blossomed. She shows how late nineteenth-century resorts became centers of competitive sports--bowling, tennis, golf, hiking, swimming, and boating absorbed the hours. But as vacationing grew, she writes, fears of
the dangers of idleness grew with it. Religious camp grounds, where gambling, drinking, and bathing on Sundays were prohibited, became established resorts. At the same time 'self improvement' vacations began to flourish, allowing a middle class still uncomfortable with the notion of leisure to feel
productive while at play. With vivid detail and much insight, Working at Play offers a lively history of the vacation, throwing new light on the place of work and rest in American culture.

Author: Cindy S. Aron
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Published: 05/31/2001
Pages: 336
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.02lbs
Size: 9.20h x 6.10w x 0.89d
ISBN: 9780195142341

About the Author

Cindy S. Aron is the author of Ladies and Gentlemen of the Civil Service: Middle Class Workers in Victorian America, and is Professor of History at the University of Virginia. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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