Less than a decade after the conclusion of the Civil War, northern promoters began pushing images of a mythic South to boost tourism. By creating a hierarchical relationship based on region and race in which northerners were always superior, promoters saw tourist dollars begin flowing southward, but this cultural construction was damaging to southerners, particularly African Americans.
Rebecca McIntyre focuses on the years between 1870 and 1920, a period framed by the war and the growth of automobile tourism. These years were critical in the creation of the South's modern identity, and she reveals that tourism images created by northerners for northerners had as much effect on making the South ""southern"" as did the most ardent proponents of the Lost Cause. She also demonstrates how northern tourism contributed to the worsening of race relations in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.