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Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero Paperback – November 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0822341222 ISBN-10: 0822341220

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Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero + Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America + Monument Wars: Washington, D.C.,  the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822341220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822341222
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Tourists of History is a fearless guide through the paranoid landscape of contemporary American culture. Marita Sturken brilliantly maps the ways consumerism and tourism offer avenues of comfort in a threatening world at the same time that they become politically disabling. From the responses to the Oklahoma City bombing to the memorials to the Twin Towers, Sturken shows how the American way of mourning and remembering the dead shores up a conviction in a timeless sense of national innocence. This exceptionally timely book reaches deep into the past and will continue to resonate in the future.”—Amy Kaplan, author of The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture


Tourists of History is a great read: well written, accessible on numerous levels, and driven by a persuasive argument that links tourism, consumerism, and Americans’ understandings of themselves and their history.”—Erika Doss, author of Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities

From the Publisher

"Tourists of History is a great read: well written, accessible on numerous levels, and driven by a persuasive argument that links tourism, consumerism, and Americans' understandings of themselves and their history."--Erika Doss, author of Spirit Poles and Flying Pigs: Public Art and Cultural Democracy in American Communities --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Marita Sturken's "Tourists of History" is an enlightening overview about how America dealt with the two most catastrophic events of its recent history - the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 - by wrapping itself in a mantle of kitschy products which tried, but ultimately failed, to bring comfort to the bereaved.
The quintessential object of comfort is the teddy bear, given to children (and adults) affected by these two tragedies (and the sequential wars in Afghanistan and Iraq). These teddies (almost all of them cheaply manufactured overseas) are tasked with the job of saying, "All will be well over time" - a promise that neither they nor anyone else can keep. Nor can a teddy bear tell anyone about the social and political roots of terrorism, both domestic and international. What teddies do best is reinforce the intractable belief that America is innocent: We are the good guys, we have done nothing wrong in the world, how can anyone hate us? Anyone who has paid attention to history knows that America is not and has never been innocent.
Sturken urges us to take a good look at all of American history, and not be mere tourists only interested in the parts that are nice to look at. Buy this book today.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Thomas on April 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was actually required reading for a Communication class in college.

It was a surprisingly interesting and in depth read. I would recommend adding it to your collection.

Definitely enlightens you to how American's react to tragedy, as well as, how our society has grown accustomed to exploiting tragedy.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tracy on January 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
not my taste in reading material, needed for college class, found on amazon, fair price, delivered quiclky, and was excactly what was required for class
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