“Holiday”: Was This the Best Travel Magazine of All Time?

Written by | Books

Holiday magazine

The perfect books to give as holiday gifts  tend to come out in the fall. That’s certainly true of Holiday—The Best Travel Magazine That Ever Was ($85, Rizzoli New York).

It’s a celebration of the USA mindset in post-WWII era. Flush with cash from the war era, Americans became entranced with the prospect of travel. But this publication — which ran originally from 1946 to 1977 — wasn’t merely comprised of recommendations about where to go, what to eat  or do away from home. Its pages came to life with images from such draftsmen as Al Hirschfeld and Ludwig Bemelmans.

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The magazine was reknowned for hosting photos from the likes of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Slim Aarons. And acclaimed writers including Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, Joan Didion, Truman  Capote, Colette and E. B. White filled its pages. For some, Holiday was a how-to for getting out and see the world. For others, the closest they would ever come to adventures abroad was getting lost in these pages and dreaming of distant shores.

Now this collected volume functions as a sort of time capsule for how they saw the world and their place in it. Author Pamela Fiori is the ideal writer to capture the publication’s legacy, too. She started there in 1968, and later went on to helm Travel+Leisure and Town & Country. Franck Durand, who brought the publication back to newsstands in 2014 offers an afterward about Holiday’s legacy in the 21st Century.

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Last modified: October 25, 2019