A mixture of travelogue and personal narrative, James Conaway’s smart, informative essays offer an insightful depiction of his journeys between Washington, D.C., and Big Sur, California, as he tries to understand what has become of the places, people, and traditions that were once so precious but have now been irreparably changed. Incorporating the voices of cowboys, real estate agents, activists, and many others, he raises vital questions about the merits of sprawling development and the ever-increasing use of resources in the name of “progress.” He urges us to consider the value of preservation in our growth-driven culture, as well as the ramifications of prosperity on the places important to our national identity.
In Pursuit of Our Elusive Landscapes
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“Conaway argues persuasively that these irreplaceable landscapes stand for the real America, but because we are sacrificing them to material concerns, we're losing our culture along with the very ground on which America was built.” —Publishers Weekly
JAMES CONAWAY is a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler as well as the author of ten previous books, including The Far Side of Eden: New Money, Old Land, and the Battle for Napa Valley. He lives in Washington, D.C.
“Entertaining as well as astute… Conaway argues persuasively that these irreplaceable landscapes stand for the real America, but because we are sacrificing them to material concerns, we’re losing our culture along with the very ground on which America was built.” —Publishers Weekly
“A lively, literate and pained visit to American places too little seen, deserving a place alongside Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley and William Least Heat-Moon’s Blue Highways.” —Kirkus