The Cambridge Companion to American Travel Writing

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Travel writing has always been intimately linked with the construction of American identity. These specially commissioned essays examine a wide range of responses to the problems posed by landscapes found both at home and abroad. Throughout, the contributors focus on the role played by travel writing in the definition and formation of national identity, and consider the diverse experiences of canonical and lesser-known writers. This Companion forms an invaluable guide for students approaching this new, important, and exciting subject for the first time.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This is a stimulating and informative work that covers much new ground: it has certainly got me thinking and I now have a long list of titles to seek out. Apart from the book's value to literature and travel studies, students of North American history will also find this book useful.' Bob Duckett, bibliographer and former reference librarian, Bradford, UK
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Alfred Bendixen is Professor of English at Texas A & M University.

Judith Hamera is Professor and Head of the Department of Performance Studies at Texas A & M University.

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Table of Contents

Notes on contributors vii

Introduction: new worlds and old lands - the travel book and the construction of American identity Judith Hamera Alfred Bendixen 1

Part 1 Confronting the American Landscape

1 Beginnings: the origins of American travel writing in the pre-revolutionary period Philip Gould 13

2 "Property in the horizon": landscape and American travel writing William W. Stowe 26

3 New York to Niagara by way of the Hudson and the Erie Christopher Mulvey 46

4 The Mississippi River as site and symbol Thomas Ruys Smith 62

5 The Southwest and travel writing Martin Padget 78

Part II Americans Abroad

6 American travel books about Europe before the Civil War Alfred Bendixen 103

7 Americans in Europe from Henry James to the present William Merrill Decker 127

8 Americans in the Holy Land, Israel, and Palestine Hilton Obenzinger 145

9 Americans in the larger world: beyond the Pacific coast Christopher Mcbride 165

10 South of the border: American travel writing in Latin America Terry Caesar 180

Part III Social Scenes and American Sites

11 African American travel literature Virginia Whatley Smith 197

12 American women and travel writing Susan L. Roberson 214

13 Driving that highway to consciousness: late twentieth-century American travel literature Deborah Paes De Barros 228

Chronology 244

Further Reading 279

Index 289

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