We'll Always Have Paris
American Tourists in France since 1930
Harvey Levenstein takes us back to the 1930s, when, despite the Great Depression, France continued to be the stomping ground of the social elite of the eastern seaboard. After World War II, wealthy and famous Americans returned to the country in droves, helping to revive its old image as a wellspring of sophisticated and sybaritic pleasures. At the same time, though, thanks in large part to Communist and Gaullist campaigns against U.S. power, a growing sensitivity to French anti-Americanism began to color tourists' experiences there, strengthening the negative images of the French that were already embedded in American culture. But as the century drew on, the traditional positive images were revived, as many Americans again developed an appreciation for France's cuisine, art, and urban and rustic charms.
Levenstein, in his colorful, anecdotal style, digs into personal correspondence, journalism, and popular culture to shape a story of one nation's relationship to another, giving vivid play to Americans' changing response to such things as France's reputation for sexual freedom, haute cuisine, high fashion, and racial tolerance. He puts this tumultuous coupling of France and the United States in historical perspective, arguing that while some in Congress say we may no longer have french fries, others, like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, know they will always have Paris, and France, to enjoy and remember.
1 - Great Depression Follies
One. It Sometimes Rains in Nice
Two. The Return of the Middle Classes
Three. "Beautiful Beyond Belief": Cultural Tourism Survives
Four. Watching the World Go By
2 - War and Revival
Five. Martial Visitors
Six. A Tattered Welcome Mat
Seven. Searching for Sartre, 1947-50
Eight. "Coca-Colonization" and Its Discontents
Nine. "What Country Has So Much to Offer?"
Ten. "Bandwagons Work like Magic in Tourism"
3 - Loving and Hating
Eleven. The Worms Turn: 1962-1972
Twelve. "This Space Ship Is Going to Paris"
Thirteen. Bouncing Back: The 1980s
Fourteen. Postmodern Tourism
Fifteen. Nobody's Perfect
Abbreviations for Frequently Cited Sources