Observations from 135 Degrees
Historian Anthony Pagden has illustrated that during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, European explorers often appealed to their personal experience in the Americas to validate their authority on New World topics. In historical methodology, however, appeals to documents as authoritative statements generally take precedence over the experiential knowledge of investigators. This creates an immense paradox for historians of tourism: the need to work in stuffy archives in order to establish the evolving reality of an activity best suited to sun, sand, and tropical landscapes. The preceding chapters have established a documentary basis for understanding the packaging of tourist poles in the Spanish Caribbean. This epilogue integrates on-site observations from around the world, as if from a beach chair, or from a 135-degree angle, with a final comparative analysis of three of the major poles discussed in the book: Varadero in Cuba, Punta Cana-Bávaro in the Dominican Republic, and Cancún in Mexico.
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