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The Tramp in America [Kindle Edition]

Tim Cresswell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Print List Price: $35.00
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Book Description

This book provides the first account of the invention of the tramp as a social type in the United States between the 1870s and the 1930s. Tim Cresswell considers the ways in which the tramp was imagined and described and how, by the Second World War, it was being reclassified and rendered invisible. He describes the 'tramp scare' of the late nineteenth century and explores the assumption that tramps were invariably male and therefore a threat to women. Cresswell also examines tramps as comic figures and looks at the work of prominent American photographers which signalled a sympathetic portrayal of this often-despised group. Perhaps most significantly, The Tramp in America calls into question the common assumption that mobility played a central role in the production of American identity.

Editorial Reviews


“This is an effective, and sometimes touching, account of how a social phenomenon was created, classified and reclassified. The quality of the writing, the excellent illustrations and the high production standards give this reasonably-priced hardback a chance of appealing to a general audience . . . an important contribution to American studies, providing new perspectives on the significance of mobility and rootlessness at an important time in the development of the nation. Cresswell successfully illuminates the history of a disadvantaged and marginal group, while providing a lens by which to focus on the thinking and practices of the mainstream culture with which they dealt. As such, this book represents a considerable achievement.”

(Cultural Geographies)

“An important book. Cresswell has made an important contribution to a homelessness literature still lacking a more sophisticated theoretical edge. Clearly written, beautifully illustrated and with a strong argument throughout, the book deserves to be widely read by students and practitioners alike.”

(Progress in Human Geography)

About the Author

Tim Cresswell is professor of human geography at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is the author of several books, including Geographic Thought: A Critical Introduction.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4501 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (October 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009KOWZF0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,970,384 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Tramp In America brings to life the myths and the reality of the homeless "tramp" in the United States between 1869 and 1939 - from the economic hardship that followed in wake of the Civil War up through the Great Depression. The author carefully dissects numerous stereotypes held about tramps, particularly in the years gone by: that they were a threat to domestic women, that they were diseased and genetically unsound, and that they were always male - when evidence exists of female tramps who disguised themselves as men. There is also an extensive analysis of tramps in cartoons and movies, including Charlie Chaplin's memorable characters. Carefully researched, yet presented clearly enough for the lay person to immerse himself or herself, Tim Cresswell's The Tramp In America is a fascinating look into a specific slice of national history and culture.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the read November 22, 2013
The evolution and history if the tramp in America is described in great detail in this book. Migrant workers and so called "vagrants" changed with the acceleration of the American railroads that huge numbers of unemployed road illegally during the period if the Great Depression.

The author explains the various types of tramps in one if my favorite quotes in the book:

"The classifications of tramps: tramps if society, professional beggars, tourists, vacstionists, street fakers (missionaries), and loiterers (the idle rich.).

Book with solid insight into the history of poverty and the attitudes and stigmas that have gone along with it.
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More About the Author

Tim Cresswell is Professor of History and International Affairs at Northeastern University, Boston, USA. His research interests center on the role of geographical ways of thinking in the constitution of social and cultural life both historically and in the present day western world. He is the author of five books including, most recently Geographic Thought: A Critical Introduction (Blackwell, 2013) and On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World (Routledge, 2006). He has also co-edited four volumes on place and mobility including Geographies of Mobilities: Practices, Spaces, Subjects (Ashgate, 2011) Cresswell is also a poet and he explores similar themes in his debut collection Soil (Penned in the Margins, 2013).

Prior to arriving at Northeastern, Cresswell worked at the Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London (2006-2013), University of Wales, Aberystwyth (1999-2006) and University of Wales, Lampeter (1993-1999). He is a managing editor of the journal cultural geographies.


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