Cold War Holidays

American Tourism in France

By Christopher Endy

304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 26 illus., notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-5548-5
    Published: May 2004
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-6351-0
    Published: December 2005
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-7766-6
    Published: December 2005

New Cold War History

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Awards & distinctions

2004 Stuart L. Bernath Prize, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

Moving beyond traditional state-centered conceptions of foreign relations, Christopher Endy approaches the Cold War era relationship between France and the United States from the original perspective of tourism. Focusing on American travel in France after World War II, Cold War Holidays shows how both the U.S. and French governments actively cultivated and shaped leisure travel to advance their foreign policy agendas.

From the U.S. government's campaign to encourage American vacations in Western Europe as part of the Marshall Plan, to Charles de Gaulle's aggressive promotion of American tourism to France in the 1960s, Endy reveals how consumerism and globalization played a major role in transatlantic affairs. Yet contrary to analyses of globalization that emphasize the decline of the nation-state, Endy argues that an era notable for the rise of informal transnational exchanges was also a time of entrenched national identity and persistent state power.

A lively array of voices informs Endy's analysis: Parisian hoteliers and café waiters, American and French diplomats, advertising and airline executives, travel writers, and tourists themselves. The resulting portrait reveals tourism as a colorful and consequential illustration of the changing nature of international relations in an age of globalization.

About the Author

Christopher Endy is assistant professor of history at California State University, Los Angeles.
For more information about Christopher Endy, visit the Author Page.


"Impressively researched, fair-minded and frequently entertaining. . . . Provide[s] a fresh and learned perspective on a much studied subject."--American Communist History

"Innovative, nuanced, and important."--International History Review

"An effective case for the broadest possible view of what shapes the foreign relations of nations."--Journal of American History

"[An] intelligent and engaging book. . . . Filled with fresh insights and evidence on the interplay among foreign-policy makers, business and labor interests, government leaders, and consumers/tourists. . . . Endy's sophisticated blend of the histories of foreign relations and tourism enriches both approaches and should serve as a model for other scholars."--Business History Review

"Rich in detail. . . . [Endy's] research sheds light on the era of 'Rick Steves' Europe.'"--Boston Globe

"[Endy] has contributed an important piece to the story of contemporary globalization."--Journal of Cold War Studies