2-2 | Are We There Yet? The Golden Age of American Family Vacations

Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008. Photographs, notes, bibliography, index. 240 pp. $29.95 cloth. ISBN: 9780700615889
Victoria W. Wolcott

Historians are, in general, uneasy about claims of a “golden age.” The phrase suggests nostalgia for a simpler, more pleasurable time. When dealing with childhood memories—and certainly family vacations produce formative memories—the tendency to identify a golden age is even more powerful. Susan Sessions Rugh manages largely, although not entirely, to avoid the pitfalls of oversimplification and romanticization that seem so inherent to such narratives, although she does identify postwar America—from the late 1940s to the early 1970s—as the golden age of family vacations.