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The Playful Crowd: Pleasure Places in the Twentieth Century
     

The Playful Crowd: Pleasure Places in the Twentieth Century

by Gary Cross
 

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During the first part of the twentieth century thousands of working-class New Yorkers flocked to Coney Island in search of a release from their workaday lives and the values of bourgeois society. On the other side of the Atlantic, British workers heade

Overview

During the first part of the twentieth century thousands of working-class New Yorkers flocked to Coney Island in search of a release from their workaday lives and the values of bourgeois society. On the other side of the Atlantic, British workers heade

Editorial Reviews

Choice

Social history at its best... Essential.

Institute of Historical Research (UK) - Brad Beaven
...A fascinating account of the changing nature of the pleasure-seeking crowd in the US and Britain during the twentieth century.

The American Historical Review - Susan Currell
Engaging... fascinating... excellent... a model of collaborative scholarship, this book contributes much to the history of twentieth-century amusements.

Journal of Social History - Scott C. Martin
The Playful Crowd succeeds admirably, both as comparative history and as a study of popular leisure.

Annals of Tourism Research - Auvo Kostiainen
A valuable book for students studying pleasure, leisure, and tourism.

Winterthur Portfolio - Thomas A. Chambers
The Playful Crowd does what few studies of leisure have attempted—compare tourism across time and space.

The Times Higher Education Supplement
This book, which is vividly and engagingly written, makes a major contribution to our knowledge and understanding of a cultural phenomenon.

Institute of Historical Research (UK)
...A fascinating account of the changing nature of the pleasure-seeking crowd in the US and Britain during the twentieth century.

— Brad Beaven, University of Portsmouth

The American Historical Review
Engaging... fascinating... excellent... a model of collaborative scholarship, this book contributes much to the history of twentieth-century amusements.

— Susan Currell

Journal of Social History
The Playful Crowd succeeds admirably, both as comparative history and as a study of popular leisure.

— Scott C. Martin

Winterthur Portfolio
The Playful Crowd does what few studies of leisure have attempted—compare tourism across time and space.

— Thomas A. Chambers, Niagara University

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231502832
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
12/05/2005
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
18 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

What People are Saying About This

James Walvin
Gary Cross and John Walton have long proved imaginative practitioners of the history of leisure. In The Playful Crowd they weave together their mutual interests to produce a book of genuine originality and arresting significance. Their account of the transformation of popular spectacle and pleasure—the playful crowd on both sides of the Atlantic over the past century—is a comparative history characterized by a lively narrative and arresting detail. It is an important account of the changes in modern urban pleasures in both Britain and the U.S.A.; a book which is a benchmark for future scholars in the field and a model of how to devise and shape the complexities of comparative history.

Peter Bailey
Gary Cross and John Walton provide us with a richly packed and appropriately stimulating ride through the people's playgrounds of Britain and the U.S. across more than a century. A model of collaborative scholarship and incisive cross-cultural comparative analysis, The Playful Crowd opens up important questions about modern regimes of pleasure, a hitherto neglected or unduly pathologized topic. This is a work of major significance in the fields of leisure, popular culture, consumerism, and social and cultural history in general.

Ellen Furlough
Cross and Walton's well-researched and elegantly written study tracks the historical trajectories of popular resorts, theme parks, and open air museums in the U.S. and Britain.... The result is a fascinating and nuanced book that attends to the diverse regional, national, and entrepreneurial factors that shaped these designed and mostly commercial places. It also takes seriously the generative capacities and leisure practices of the 'playful crowds' themselves. A lively, intelligent, and pleasurable read!

Meet the Author

Gary S. Cross is professor of history at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of several titles, including An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America (Columbia, 2000).

John K. Walton is professor of social history at the University of Central Lancashire. His most recent book is The British Seaside: Holidays and Resorts in the Twentieth Century.


Gary Cross is professor of history at Penn State and the author of An All-Consuming Century (CUP, 2000); Time and Money: The Making of Consumerist Modernity (Routledge, 1993; A Quest for Time: The Reduction of Work in Britain and France, 1840-1940 (University of California Press, 1989) and A Social History of Leisure since 1600 (Venture, 1990)


Gary Cross is professor of history at Penn State and the author of An All-Consuming Century (CUP, 2000); Time and Money: The Making of Consumerist Modernity (Routledge, 1993; A Quest for Time: The Reduction of Work in Britain and France, 1840-1940 (University of California Press, 1989) and A Social History of Leisure since 1600 (Venture, 1990)

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