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Cold War Holidays Christopher Endy Literature Review - Book Report/Review Example

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Cold War Holidays: American Tourism in France by Christopher Endy The book highlights the proceedings of the Cold War years with regard to tourism and focuses on the Franco-American relationship after the Second World War. The book is a success following its originality with respect to the approach to the Cold War, which presents a new perspective of studying historical events…
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Cold War Holidays: American Tourism in France by Christopher Endy The book highlights the proceedings of the Cold War years with regard to tourism and focuses on the Franco-American relationship after the Second World War. The book is a success following its originality with respect to the approach to the Cold War, which presents a new perspective of studying historical events. As a result, this paper seeks to review the efforts made to enhance the Franco-American relationship during the Cold War, paying attention to tourism as presented in this book. Christopher Endy is an Associate Professor of American History at California State University in Los Angeles, whose book is subject to this review. As a professor of history, he is considered to be rich in insight into historical events, and his analysis is highly valued. His approach is regarded as unique and original as it overlooks the prevailing tension in the world following the Second World War. By focusing on American travel to France in the years following World War II, the book illustrates how the United States and the French governments actively participated in shaping leisure travel, fearing the spread of communism.1 While reading this book, some people may dismiss leisure travel as a peripheral factor while most are likely to find answers to core queries made on U.S.-European relations. This was also critical in advancing the countries’ foreign policy agenda. Most important, the book reveals the connections with regard to travel, consumerism, and Cold War policies. Endy illustrates the coexistence, interplay, and even mutual reinforcement between transnational forces and the nation-state. Contrary to common belief on globalization, Endy reveals how this process encouraged the rise of informal transnational exchanges to establish a national identity and power. In this manner, tourism favored globalization and strong national identities at the same time. Endy presents an unduly neglected mechanism of foreign policy and international relations concerns. The book also demonstrates how government authorities and Cold War concerns remained critical factors with the rise of international tourism. The travel industry is seen as being intertwined with patriotism since tourists must be effective ambassadors of the countries they represent. Both the US and French governments actively participate in arguing the importance of leisure travel with regard to foreign policy. As a result, the history of American tourism in France is indicated to expand alongside globalization. In his book, Endy focuses his work on four key topics: one being that public-private association in respect of travel and tourism in both the United States and France resulted in the upsurge in American visits to France. The next key point is that American tourism was not entirely because of growing prosperity but was also connected to the development of transnational travel. Thirdly, “travel by U.S. citizens to France helped reinforce American and French national identities rather than encourage intercontinental syncretism”2; and finally, the French carefully analyzed American hotel methods and middle-class tastes and adapted these preferences to French culture. The research into the book's content is meticulous, with sources ranging from tourists’ views to archival voices by diplomats and other foreign policy officials. These sources allow the author to explore a variety of thematic lines as they unfold. For instance, economic interest groups such as the airline industry, travel agencies, and advertising corporations received sponsorship from the governments of both countries. This is highlighted as a key component of modernization and expansion of foreign relations between the countries. The hospitality industry grew largely owing to the influx of tourists with deep cultural exchanges among the citizens. Moreover, the book documents an outstanding deal of historic configurations in which events are addressed chronologically as well as thematically to illustrate the role of tourism in the Cold War. A distinct thematic line is demonstrated in the context of the Cold War where citizens are accorded the freedom of travel. This is in contrast to the communist world, which was characterized by restrictions on its own citizens. Endy describes consumerism as a serious concern that requires to be addressed, as he analyses attempts by President Johnson to end mass tourism to Europe.3 The author portrays the policy makers as cultivators of consumerism rather than containing it. This is attributed to the fact that most tourists in France were heavily indulged in consumerism as opposed to fostering international relations, which raised domestic concerns. In conclusion, Endy has demonstrated an original approach to the history of Cold War politics and its influence on globalization. The author does not disappoint when examining the importance of tourism and foreign policy, with special analysis of the relationship shared by the two. Armed with impressive research materials, the book presents a fair-minded atmosphere for all to enjoy learning crucial details in history. Bibliography Endy, Christopher. Cold War Holidays: American Tourism in France. Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2004. Read More
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