Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba

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U of Nebraska Press, Jan 1, 1999 - History - 239 pages
Pleasure Island explores the tourism industry in Cuba between 1920 and 1960, as international travel ceased to be primarily a privilege of the wealthy, and incorporated the world's growing middle class. Rosalie Schwartz examines tourists' changing ideas of leisure and recreation, as well as the response of a colonial-era Spanish city turned fleshpot and endless cabaret. The tourism industry mushroomed in and around Havana after 1920, as hundreds of thousands of North Americans transformed the city in collaboration with a local business and political elite. The Depression, exacerbated by a bloody revolution in 1933, plunged the tourism industry into a downward spiral; its steady comeback after World War II, and Mafia-influenced 1950s heyday, ended abruptly when Fidel Castro came to power in 1959. The tourist stream was diverted to Cuba's Caribbean neighbors, where it remains. This work is a history of a very idiosyncratic industry, as well as a study of mass tourism's influence on the behavior, attitudes, and cultures of two politically linked but diverse nations. Rosalie Schwartz is a former lecturer in the Department of History at San Diego State University. She is the author of Across the Rio to Freedom and Lawless Liberators: Political Banditry and Cuban Independence, which won the 1990 Hubert B. Herring Book Award of the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies.
 

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Pleasure Island: tourism and temptation in Cuba

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The first of these works is a guidebook--and an excellent one at that. Baker, who has traveled extensively in Cuba and written other guidebooks and magazine articles, gives a general introduction to ... Read full review

Contents

The Road to Cuba
1
The Action behind the Scrim
16
Tempests and Tourists Dreamers and Schemers
39
Manufactured Traditions and Cultural Transformations
74
sty Intermission in Cuba and a Sea Change in Tourism
103
Act 2 Curtain Up
117
The Mafia
134
reyna The Tourist Stage as Rebel Battleground
164
No Peace No Pleasure No Tourists
180
The Phoenix Rises
204
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About the author (1999)

Rosalie Schwartz taught history at San Diego State University and is the author of Lawless Liberators: Political Banditry and Cuban Independence, winner of the 1990 Hubert Herring Book Prize.

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