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Vanishing America

In Pursuit of Our Elusive Landscapes

by James Conaway


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A look at how development affects places from national parks to Napa Valley, and "an enthralling, lovely tribute to a lot of what is precious in America" (Tracy Kidder).

Vanishing America recounts the author's 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 cherished 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—and the ramifications of prosperity on the places important to our national identity.

A mixture of travelogue and essay collection, this enlightening book "deserv[es] a place alongside Steinbeck's Travels with Charley and William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways" (Kirkus Reviews).

"Thoughtful, compelling . . . it's a story that Conaway tells well, with considerable passion but also with due objectivity." —The Washington Post

Publication Details

Counterpoint Press
Publication Date:


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James Conaway (Author)

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.

More about James Conaway
Vanishing America
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