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Book Cover for: Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology, and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929, Molly W. Berger

Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology, and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929

Molly W. Berger

Winner, 2012 Sally Hacker Prize, Society for the History of Technology

Hotel Dreams is a deeply researched and entertaining account of how the hotel's material world of machines and marble integrated into and shaped the society it served. Molly W. Berger offers a compelling history of the American hotel and how it captured the public's imagination as it came to represent the complex--and often contentious--relationship among luxury, economic development, and the ideals of a democratic society.

Berger profiles the country's most prestigious hotels, including Boston's 1829 Tremont, San Francisco's world-famous Palace, and Chicago's enormous Stevens. The fascinating stories behind their design, construction, and marketing reveal in rich detail how these buildings became cultural symbols that shaped the urban landscape.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publish Date: Jun 15th, 2016
  • Pages: 328
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 1.10in - 1.01lb
  • EAN: 9781421419923
  • Categories: United States - GeneralIndustries - Hospitality, Travel & TourismSocial History

About the Author

Berger, Molly W.: - Molly W. Berger is the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and an instructor of history at Case Western Reserve University. She is the editor of The American Hotel, an award-winning volume in The Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts series.
Praise for this book
A rigorously researched and elegantly written study of the role of the hotel in shaping and embodying ideals of progress, luxury, and technology in a consumer capitalist society. Berger's monograph is a welcome contribution to the growing scholarly literature on the history of hotels in modern America, and is a must-read for scholars of business history, the history of technology, architectural and urban history, and the history of consumer culture.
--American Historical Review
[Berger's] nuanced interpretation of technology makes her work so important to design historians . . . Hotels have served as realms of the fantastic that permit guests to escape the everyday and enter into a world of dreams where service and splendour define new experiences. It is this dream world that Berger successfully evokes in this important book and others should follow her lead by exploring this remarkably rich topic.
--Journal of Design History
A salutatory and important book.
--Hospitality & Society Journal
A worthwhile addition to the growing scholarly literature on hotels.
--Journal of American History
In a relatively compact study, Berger has provided a rich, revealing portrayal of her subject that is likely to remain a basic source for scholars examining the history of the city no less than of the hotel itself for some years to come.
--Journal of Social History
Complements and expands on A.K. Sandoval-Strausz's Hotel.
A very informative and entertaining read.
--Past In Review
In this extensively researched and well-written study, Molly W. Berger analyzes the emergence of the American luxury hotel in the antebellum period and its continued development throughout the nineteenth century to the onset of the Great Depression.
--H-Net Reviews