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Enjoyment of the whispering winds, the zephyrs, the airstreams of the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin areas of the United States in a recreational vehicle.

Charles Booth

An academic view of US travel and tourism during the Cold War.

Contact information:

Bristol Business School
University of the West of England
Coldharbour Lane
Bristol BS16 1QY United Kingdom

How Charles became interested in WBCCI and Airstreams

It's rather a long and convoluted story but the skeleton of it is that I have been RVing in the US/Canada a few times and have always been struck by the beauty of the Airstreams that I saw, as technological artifacts in the first instance. The last time I was in the States I bought a couple of coffee-table books about the history of trailers and this led me to Wally Byam and the early Byam/WBCCI caravans.

Wearing my academic hat I am interested in organizational history and I work with some colleagues who are interested in the Cold War period. Talking to these folk I realized that very little academic work existed on US travel and tourism during the Cold War, and also that the Byam caravans represented a VERY different response to travel and global citizenship to more mainstream understandings of the US in the Cold War. Who could be more different to J Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy than Wally Byam and his fellow airstreamers? 

Current Project

The British Academy of Management is holding a conference in September on "Building International Communities Through Collaboration" and I hope to make a presentation to them on the WBCCI, extending and developing a presentation made at an earlier event.

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