In Working at Play, Aron offers the first full-length history of how Americans have vacationed. In the early 19th century, Aron shows, vacations were taken for health more than for fun, as the wealthy travelled to watering places, seeking cures for everything from consumption to rheumatism. But starting in the 1850s the growth of a white-collar middle class and the expansion of railroads made vacationing a mainstream activity. Aron charts this growth with grace and insight, tracing the rise of new vacation spots as the nation and the middle class blossomed.

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