"From grand wedding tours to heart-shaped beds, Dubinsky insightfully traces the role of the honeymoon in the history of heterosexuality. In the process she reveals how 'natural' attractions-whether waterfalls or love-are indeed produced in social, cultural, and historical contexts. An informative and entertaining tour." -- Kathy Peiss, University of Massachusetts, author of Hope in a Jar: the Making of America's Beauty Culture
"Karen Dubinsky traces the history of Niagara Falls as a rendezvous for the most 'heterosocial' vacations of all-the honeymoon..." -- The Women's Review of Books
"The Falls at Niagara presents a timeless picture: water meets gravity. Karen Dubinsky has made a fascinating study of the constantly changing frame that surrounds this immutable scene. Dubinsky illuminates the rhetoric of the Falls as a classic boast of the white man's superiority over nature, non-Anglo Saxons, and the little missus. Believe it or not, I read the whole book!(Call Ripley's!)" - -- Sheila Gostick, stand-up comedian
"Thoughtful, illuminating, and witty... By showing how the honeymoon, like tourism, became an item of mass consumption, this fascinating book offers striking new perspectives on the history of marriage, heterosexuality, and consumption in the twentieth century." -- George Chauncey, University of Chicago, author of Gay New York
From the Back Cover
In this provocative history, Karen Dubinsky addresses a deceptively simple question: of all the ways to promote a waterfall as a tourist destination, why honeymoons?
For two centuries Niagara Falls has attracted tourists from around the World. After a visit in 1882 Oscar Wilde sardonically declared that the Falls must be the second greatest disappointment in American married life. Wilde was responding to the peculiar relationship, already well established in his day, between heterosexuality, the honeymoon, and the Falls. Dubinsky explores what it was like not just to visit the Falls but to live and work behind the mists of such celebrity. From Victorian marriage manuals to Marilyn Monroe(and the movie Niagara) she treats the Falls not only as a metaphor and icon, but also as a real place, populated by real people who helped to shape its cultural meaning.