- Used Books
- Staff Picks
- Gifts & Gift Cards
- Sell Books
- Stores & Events
- Let's Talk Books
Special Offers see all
More at Powell's
Recently Viewed clear list
This item may be
Check for Availability
This title in other editions
Other titles in the Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique series:
Toxic Tourism: Rhetorics of Pollution, Travel, and Environmental Justice (Rhetoric, Culture, and Social Critique)
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the:
2010 Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award, sponsored by National Communication Association
2007 James A. Winans-Herbert A. Wichelns Memorial Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Rhetoric and Public Address, sponsored by National Communication Association
2007 Best Book of the Year for Critical and Cultural Studies, sponsored by National Communication Association
2007 Christine L. Oravec Research Award, sponsored by Environmental Communications Division of the National Communication Association
Tourism is at once both a beloved pastime and a denigrated form of popular culture. Romanticized for its promise of pleasure, tourism is also potentially toxic, enabling the deadly exploitation of the cultures and environments visited. For many decades, the environmental justice movement has offered “toxic tours,” non-commercial trips intended to highlight people and locales polluted by poisonous chemicals. Out of these efforts and their popular reception, a new understanding of democratic participation in environmental decision-making has begun to arise. Phaedra C. Pezzullo examines these tours as a tactic of resistance and for their potential in reducing the cultural and physical distance between hosts and visitors.
Pezzullo begins by establishing the ambiguous roles tourism and the toxic have played in the U.S. cultural imagination since the mid-20th century in a range of spheres, including Hollywood films, women’s magazines, comic books, and scholarly writings. Next, drawing on participant observation, interviews, documentaries, and secondary accounts in popular media, she identifies and examines a range of tourist performances enabled by toxic tours. Extended illustrations of the racial, class, and gender politics involved include Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley,” California’s San Francisco Bay Area, and the Mexican border town of Matamoros. Weaving together social critiques of tourism and community responses to toxic chemicals, this critical, rhetorical, and cultural analysis brings into focus the tragedy of ongoing patterns of toxification and our assumptions about travel, democracy, and pollution.
Book News Annotation:
An effective tool for raising public awareness of egregious cases of pollution, so-called toxic tours highlight as well the disparate impact pollution has on low-income populations. In this well-researched study, Pezzullo (communication and culture, Indiana U.) describes the people, businesses, politics, environment, and histories of several toxic tours, while maintaining a focus on rhetoric and its use by those in power. Highlighting stubborn and prevalent attitudes and mores in American commerce and society, this study engages with questions of ethics and class as they are played out in the use of the environment. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Toxic Tourism is the first book length study of the environmental justice movement, tourism, and the links between race, class, and waste.
About the Author
Phaedra C. Pezullo is Assistant Professor of Communication and Culture at Indiana University and coeditor, with Ronald Sandler, of Environmental Justice and Environmentalism: Assessing the Social Justice Challenge to the Environmental Movement.
What Our Readers Are Saying