No Words Wasted Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Required Reading | January 16, 2015

    Required Reading: Books That Changed Us

    We tend to think of reading as a cerebral endeavor, but every once in a while, it can spur action. The following books — ranging from... Continue »


On Order

New Trade Paper
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Sociology- Urban Studies

This title in other editions

The Tour Guide: Walking and Talking New York (Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries)


The Tour Guide: Walking and Talking New York (Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Everyone wants to visit New York at least once. The Big Apple is a global tourist destination with a dizzying array of attractions throughout the five boroughs. The only problem is figuring out where to start—and thats where the citys tour guides come in.

These guides are a vital part of New Yorks raucous sidewalk culture, and, as The Tour Guide reveals, the tours they offer are as fascinatingly diverse—and eccentric—as the city itself. Visitors can take tours that cover Manhattan before the arrival of European settlers, the nineteenth-century Irish gangs of Five Points, the culinary traditions of Queens, the culture of Harlem, or even the surveillance cameras of Chelsea—in short, there are tours to satisfy anyones curiosity about the citys past or present. And the guides are as intriguing as the subjects, we learn, as Jonathan R. Wynn explores the lives of the people behind the tours, introducing us to office workers looking for a diversion from their desk jobs, unemployed actors honing their vocal skills, and struggling retirees searching for a second calling. Matching years of research with his own experiences as a guide, Wynn also lays bare the grueling process of acquiring an official license and offers a how-to guide to designing and leading a tour.

Touching on the long history of tour-giving across the globe as well as the ups and downs of New Yorks tour guide industry in the wake of 9/11, The Tour Guide is as informative and insightful as the chatty, charming, and colorful characters at its heart.

About the Author

Jonathan R. Wynn teaches in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Table of Contents


Introduction: City Murals

Characters in the Crowds, Offering New York “Like a Native”

The Work of Walking

The Walking Guide, the City, and This Book

One: The Guiding World

From the Colossus of Rhodes to the Statue of Liberty

The Rise of New York Guiding

“There Are Many Guides, and Only One Test”

Seven Tensions

Two: An Untidy Career

After the Rush

Deciding to “Make a Go of It”: Getting into Guiding

Working as a Guide

Harmonizing Work, and Other Rationales

Beyond the Sidewalk

Three: The Guide-Centered Working Ecology

Guiding Relations

Connecting with Other Guides

Wrangling, Promoting, Connecting: Working with Organizations

“ . . . But They Also Use Our Name to Market Themselves”

Four: Shticks of the Trade

“We Change Our Environment”


Eight Storytelling Tricks

“Walking Is about Your Senses . . . Its about Experiencing”

Five: Entertaining Identities

Working with an Audience

Interacting with Common Tourist Types

Negotiating Edutainment

“They Expect You as the Product as Well”

Situational Identities and Symbolic Armor

Six: Rekeying the City

Neighborhood Narratives and Urban Cultures

“I Dont Own the Neighborhood . . . ”

A Different Kind of Tourism: “Teaching the Stuff That Tourists Dont Even Know That They Want to Know”

“Learning ‘The Connect”: Tours and Street Intellectualism

Seven: Urban Alchemists

The Transmutation of the City

“Its a Charming Story, and I Couch It That Way”: Shifting the Cultural Ground

“Do You Want to Come In and See My House?” Spontaneity and the City

“I Tell Them How to Dress:” Transforming the Visitor into a Local and a Local into a Tourist

Ghosts in the Machine

Appendix A: Quizzes, Tests, and Dissertations

Locating Research, Locating Researcher

How I Ended Up Giving a Walking Tour

The Walking Guide and the Graduate Student

Appendix B: Cast of Characters

Appendix C: Catalogue of Tours Taken




Product Details

Wynn, Jonathan R.
University of Chicago Press
Wynn, Jonathan
Sociology - Urban
Sociology-Urban Studies
Edition Description:
Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries
Publication Date:
5 halftones, 9 line drawings
9 x 6 in

Other books you might like

  1. The Locked Room (Vintage Crime/Black... Used Trade Paper $8.00

Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Travel » North America » United States » New York

The Tour Guide: Walking and Talking New York (Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$32.50 Backorder
Product details 240 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226919065 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at