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LITTLE TOWN BLUES: Voices From the Changing...

LITTLE TOWN BLUES: Voices From the Changing West text by Raye C. Ringholz, photographs by K. C. Muscolino (Gibbs-Smith: $14.95 ). Ringholz interviewed longtime residents of Park City, Utah; Sedona, Ariz.; Jackson Hole, Wyo., et al. about the problems caused by the continuing development of the rural West. She documents the economic boom-and-bust cycles that have marked the histories of many small towns, leaving the inhabitants facing the equally unattractive alternatives of stagnation and gentrification. Once the scenic beauty of an undeveloped area is “discovered,” it becomes a vacation preserve for the urban rich, producing a rise in prices and property values that squeezes out middle class residents. Upscale boutiques, condos and restaurants follow, and the area loses the qualities that once made it attractive. Although Ringholz focuses on small rural towns, the questions she raises about runaway development are just as applicable to larger urban areas, especially in Southern California.


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