A Social History of Swimming Pools in AmericaBook - 2007
"From nineteenth-century public baths to today's private backyard havens, swimming pools have been a provocative symbol of American life. In this social and cultural history of swimming pools in the United States, Jeff Wiltse relates how, over the years, pools have served as asylums for the urban poor, leisure resorts for the masses, and private clubs for middle-class suburbanites. As sites of race riots, shrinking swimsuits, and conspicuous leisure, swimming pools reflect the tensions and transformations that have given rise to modern America." "Americans have intensely contested the use of municipal pools because they are such intimate public spaces. Swimmers undress side by side, share the same water, and exhibit themselves on pool decks and sand beaches. Wiltse's analysis of a variety of pool disputes illuminates underlying tensions in American society over women s bodies, the social geography of urban spaces, the spread of diseases, cultural authority, and interracial mingling. Contested Waters offers a panorama of American life. It is, at once, a story of class and race conflicts, burgeoning cities and suburbs, competing visions of social reform, eroticized public culture, democratized leisure, and Americans recent retreat from public life."--Jacket.
Publisher: Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 
Copyright Date: ©2007
Branch Call Number: 306.481 WILTSE
Characteristics: x, 276 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm