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James Conaway

About This 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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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.
Books by thisAuthor
  • Vanishing America

    Vanishing America
    In Pursuit of Our Elusive Landscapes
    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.

    The Far Side of Eden

    The Far Side of Eden
    New Money, Old Land, and the Battle for Napa...
    In the tradition of his New York Times bestseller, Napa, James Conaway picks up the story he began a decade ago. The Far Side of Eden offers "a fascinating look at the political side of the wine revolution that put California's Napa Valley on the world map" (Miami Herald). Now, Conaway reveals, Napa is awash in dollars generated by the boom economy and the social ambitions it inspired. The valley is beset by new arrivals determined to have vineyards of their own and by cult-wine producers in thrall to fabulously expensive "rocket juice" (cabernet sauvignon) that few locals can afford - while established families wish to hold on to the old ways, and camp followers get caught up in the glamour of it all. Conaway, long known for his controversial, compulsively readable social reporting, here "indicts the wave of new-money millionaires from Silicon Valley, who have brought with them gaudy displays of wealth -- building so-called 'McMansions' and planting 'vanity vineyards'" (Los Angeles Times). "A cautionary tale . . . [with] a seductive pull" (San Francisco Chronicle), The Far Side of Eden takes us to the frontlines of America's ongoing conflicts over money, land, and power to tell a story that has ramifications for us all.

    Napa

    Napa
    The Story of an American Eden
    James Conaway's remarkable bestseller delves into the heart of California's lush and verdant Napa Valley, also known as America's Eden. Long the source of succulent grapes and singular wines, this region is also the setting for the remarkable true saga of the personalities behind the winemaking empires. This is the story of Gallos and Mondavis, of fortunes made and lost, of dynasties and destinies. In this delightful, full-bodied social history, James Conaway charts the rise of a new aristocracy and, in so doing, chronicles the collective ripening of the American dream. More than a wine book, Napa is a must-read for anyone interested in our country's obsession with money, land, power, and prestige.

    Nose

    Nose
    A Novel
    In a gorgeous wine valley in northern California, the economic downturn has put a number of dreams on hold. But not so for wine critic Clyde Craven-Jones, a man whose ego nearly surpasses his substantial girth. During a routine tasting in advance of his eponymous publication’s new issue, he blindly samples a selection of Cabernets. To his confounded delight, he discovers one bottle worthy of his highest score (a 20, on the Craven-Jones-on- Wine scale), an accolade he’s never before awarded.      But the bottle has no origin, no one seems to know how it appeared on his doorstep—and that's a problem for a critic who’s supposed to know everything. An investigation into the mystery Cabernet commences, led by the Clyde’s wife, Claire, and a couple of underdogs—one a determined throw-back to ancient viticulture, the other a wine-stained, Pygmalion-esque scribbler—who by wit and luck rise on incoming tides of money, notoriety, and, yes, love.      The stage is set for this true theater of the varietals—where the reader joins the local vinous glitterati and subterranean enthusiasts hanging out in a seedy bar called the Glass Act. Soon Clyde Craven-Jones finds himself in a compromised position in a fermentation tank, a prominent family finds its internal squabble a public scandal, and a lowly vintner seeks redemption for a decades-old wrongdoing. James Conaway's Nose is a witty, delectable, and fast-paced novel that, like a good Cabernet, only grows truly enjoyable once opened.

  • The Smithsonian

    The Smithsonian
    150 Years of Adventure, Discovery, and Wonder
    This is the story of the incomparable galaxy of museums known as the Smithsonian Institution -- the legacy of an Englishman who never set foot on American soil. This mosaic of colorful photos, paintings, maps, prints, dotes, and profiles wholly succeds in matching its subject in both spirit and scope.

    America's Library

    America's Library
    The Story of the Library of Congress, 1800-2000
    Centered around the 13 men who have been appointed by presidents to lead the Library of Congress, this book investigates how the Librarians' experiences and contributions, as well as the Library's collections, have reflected political and intellectual developments in the U.S. 112 plates, 100 in color.

    Memphis Afternoons

    Memphis Afternoons

    The Kingdom in the Country

    The Kingdom in the Country

  • What Child Is This?

    What Child Is This?

    The Wonderful Surprise

    The Wonderful Surprise

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