Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Heading Out: A History of American Camping

Young, Terence. Heading Out: A History of American Camping. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 2017.

Terence Young looks at the phenomenon of camping in America, tracing its evolution over the years. He discusses problems the national parks had with campers and how that led to individual campsites. He also discusses how camping evolved from fairly primitve conditions to RVs. Young's work focuses mainly on camping within the national park and forest systems. The book needed to spend time discussing privately-owned campgrounds, including those with memberships, and chains, such as KOA, or affiliation of privately owned campgrounds with networks such as Good Sam. In spite of this one weakness, it was a very interesting and informative read. I've been reading quite a bit about the formation of Great Smoky Mountain National Park in preparation for an upcoming lecture I'm giving. I was delighted to see the author included some information regarding the way land was acquired for it and Shenanadoah National Park to give the system an Eastern United States presence, although it wasn't new information for me. This review is based on an advance reader's e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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