The Traveling Chautauqua

Caravans of Culture in Early 20th Century America

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About the Book

Before radio and sound movies, early 20th century performers and lecturers traveled the nation providing entertainment and education to Americans thirsty for culture. These “chautauquas” brought politicians, activists, scholars, musical ensembles and theatrical productions to remote communities. A conduit for global perspectives and progressive ideas, they introduced issues like equal suffrage, prohibition and pure food laws to rural America.
This book explores an overlooked yet influential movement in U.S. history, capturing the vagaries of speakers’ and performers’ lives on the road and their reception by audiences. Excerpts from lectures and plays portray a vibrant circuit that in a single summer drew 20 million in more than 9,000 towns.

About the Author(s)

Roger E. Barrows has taught humanities at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida, for over two decades and has worked extensively with young people at Northeast Music Camp and the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York.

Bibliographic Details

Roger E. Barrows
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 50 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2019
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7773-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3714-3
Imprint: McFarland