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.
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