Little Town Blues: Voices from the Changing West

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9780879054472: Little Town Blues: Voices from the Changing West

Photographs by K. C. Muscolino. Tourism as a panacea for small town? It brings a whole other set of problems--The author describes anytown, USA, that has become or is becoming a resort town--Santa Fe, Aspen, the Hamptons, NY,--and so many more--One basic question lies at the heart of the environmental, philosophical, and legal debate: How much development is enough?

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From Publishers Weekly:

Ringholz ( Uranium Frenzy ) had a good idea: to document the growth and commercialization of small towns in the West. She focuses on three towns: Moab, Utah, which is on the cusp of change; Sedona, Ariz., which is filling with "retirees, artists and New Agers"; and Jackson Hole, Wyo., which has been almost wholly transformed from cow town to tourist resort. However, Ringholz apparently visited each town only briefly, and her account suffers from disorganization and needless detail (such as a list of Sedona notables who headed a local art center). Her style becomes more tolerable when she presents an overview of the issues of economic and social transition, talking to reminiscing old-timers and resentful Native Americans, and discussing such problems as the strain on public services resulting from population increases. She concludes that each of these towns should adopt a "customized-growth" philosophy, which takes into account a locality's unique geography and population, and develop a master plan for the future, but she acknowledges that such plans have often been ignored by residents lured by the promise of individual profit. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

There is a considerable literature about the death of small towns and the decline of rural America, plus a concomitant body of proposed solutions, one of which may be tourism. Sometimes, however, the successful cure may kill the patient; that is, change the community so that it is no longer recognizable. Ringholz uses Moab, Utah; Sedona, Arizona; and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as representatives of Western communities that have sought growth and salvation through tourism. She explores the environmental concerns, the changing economic problems, the conflicting visions of the future, and the loss of the communities' sense of self in this often turbulent process of evolution. Ron Powers's Far From Home ( LJ 4/15/91) examines this phenomenon in more depth by comparing an Eastern and a Midwestern town; still, this relatively brief study should be of interest for public libraries, especially in the Rocky Mountain states. Photos not seen.
- Roland Person, Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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