The Far Side of Eden: The Ongoing Saga of Napa Valley|
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From The Publisher:
James Conaway picks up the story begun a decade ago in his earlier book about Napa Valley, the premier American wine country and a place synonymous with the good life. By now the struggle over the valley's future has grown sharper and its success more glaring. Awash in dollars generated by the boom economy of the 1990s and the social ambitions it inspired, Napa is beset by too much of a good thing: new arrivals determined to have a vineyard of their own despite the fact that available land is running out, cult-wine producers in thrall to fabulously expensive “rocket juice” (cabernet sauvignon) that few locals can afford, established families wishing to hold on to the old ways, and camp followers caught up in the glamour of it all. What has transformed a natural and agricultural beauty spot into a coveted global destination has left inevitable scars, and a small, impassioned band of environmentalists determine to resist further change. Alarmed by the wholesale felling of trees to make way for vines, the diminishment of the Napa River, and the decline in the health of the watershed, they strike back in a way rivets the valley and strongly divides the valley between those in favor of unbridled economic development and those insisting on limits. Written by the author the New York Times credits with “a Saroyan-like sense of humor and and Balzac-like eye for detail,” The Far Side of Eden takes us to the frontlines of America’s ongoing conflicts about money, land, and power to tell a tale that has ramifications for us all.
Conaway, the author of nine books and a contributor to Smithsonian and National Geographic Traveler, explored the subject of the Napa Valley a decade ago in his best-selling Napa: The Story of an American Eden. In his latest book, he carefully examines the invasion of Napa in the 1990s by the nouveaux riches who view vineyards as status symbols to be exploited for their social value. In an accessible style, Conaway offers an insider's view and shows how these newcomers are increasingly denuding the land in attempts to create vanity-label wines. Environmentalists and established valley dwellers are fighting the exploitation, but major damage has already been done in the form of polluted rivers and eroded hillsides. As Conaway rightfully concludes, Napa may never recover from the ravages wrought by the greed of the Silicon Valley wonder boys, the movie producers, and the other absentee landlords who now own much of the valley. This important and timely exploration of the ramifications of the unbridled power of the rich to do whatever they wish with America's land is highly recommended for all libraries.
óMary V. Welk, Chicago Library Journal Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
James Conaway, the author of nine previous books, is a contributing editor for Preservation and a regular contributor to Smithsonian, National Geographic Traveler, and Food & Wine magazines, among many others.
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