"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.