Gregory McNamee

Gregory McNamee is the author of Moveable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food, among many other books.

Latest by Gregory McNamee in Chronicles

Results: 74 Articles found.
  • Boundaries
    November 2015


    On a flank of the White Mountains not far from the Maine state line lies a small New Hampshire town called Albany, population 735.

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  • The Father of History
    October 2014

    The Father of History

    Twenty-five centuries ago, in a narrow mountain pass 80-odd miles from Athens, the armies of Iran fought a brutal battle with the armies of Europe.

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  • The Obesity Epidemic
    January 2009

    The Obesity Epidemic

    It is a sign of the times that one of the most talked-about reality-TV shows of the season centers on a woman who desires to lose weight. Lots of weight. The show’s star, Ruby Gettinger, now tips the scales at around 500 pounds, having once climbed to 700.

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  • August 2008

    Rockin’ in the 50’s

    When the mode of music changes, Plato remarked, the walls of the city shake. When the mode of music changed back in the 1950’s, the denizens of Plato’s Pad and their peers saw more fingers than walls shaking: The music they were listening to, their elders admonished, was guaranteed to rot their minds as surely as soda pop would rot their teeth, and poodle skirts their morals.

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  • August 2008

    A Perfect Storm Over Iowa

    Take one part high fuel prices. Mix in stagnant wages and high consumer prices generally. Stir in global uncertainty and an ever-exploding human population. Add misplaced production and chimera-chasing. Add to all that the floods of May and June 2008 that inundated much of Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri, and you have a perfect storm—at least as far as corn is concerned.

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  • The Food Crisis

    These are bad times to be an eater in America, as anyone who has suffered sticker shock at the supermarket can tell you. The cost of necessities such as bread, milk, and eggs has risen steadily in the last two years—by as much as 30 percent in some parts of the country.

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  • The Tragedy of Mexico
    March 2008

    The Tragedy of Mexico

    Twenty-eight years ago, in the summer of 1980, I moved to Guadalajara, Mexico, to take a job teaching English and journalism at a university there.

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  • The Curious Career of Billy the Kid
    February 2008

    The Curious Career of Billy the Kid

    For most of the 19th century, the American West was a fairly tranquil place. The myths of Hollywood and the wishful thinking of certain revisionist historians notwithstanding, throughout the region, for every gunfighter there were a hundred stockbrokers, and for every outlaw, ten-thousand farmers.

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  • Edward Abbey: Conservative Conservationist—and Controversialist
    November 2007

    Edward Abbey: Conservative Conservationist—and Controversialist

    Philosopher of the barroom and the open sky, champion of wilderness, critical gadfly, fierce advocate of personal liberty, Enemy of the State writ large: For 40-odd years, Ed roamed the American West, a region, he wrote, “robbed by the cattlemen, raped by the miners, insulted by the tourists.”

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  • Immigration, the Border, and the Fate of the Land
    November 2006

    Immigration, the Border, and the Fate of the Land

    One hundred and seventy miles southwest of Tucson, hard by the Mexico line, stands a weathered mountain range called the Cabeza Prieta. It is a place of weird landforms and scarce but formidable vegetation, a graduate school for desert rats that only the best prepared dares enter.

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  • January 2000

    The Second Cultural Revolution?

    Cultural bridges are sometimes made of unlikely materials. One, for instance, is the hoary Steppenwolf rocker-stomper "Born to Be Wild," a favorite of the Western suds, studs, and leather crowd for three decades, and now, thanks to an accident of history, a fixture at the karaoke bar of Beijing's Minzu Hotel.

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  • The Unscholarly World of Scholarly Publishing
    May 1998

    The Unscholarly World of Scholarly Publishing

    The days, golden for a certain breed of academic, are long past when university presses served as printers for on-campus scholars—who would, the legend has it, drop off a manuscript on some abstruse subject and return some months later to pick up bound copies of their book.

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  • Legends of the Four-Lane Road
    January 1998

    Legends of the Four-Lane Road

    The interstate highways, John Steinbeck complained in his 1962 memoir Travels with Charley, "are wonderful for moving goods but not for inspection of a countryside.

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  • A Ghost Awakens
    November 1997

    A Ghost Awakens

    In the closing years of the 19th century, Indians throughout the American West began to dance. Dervish-like, they danced for hours and days on end, in the belief that their ecstasy would call forth the gods, bring back the dead, and banish the conquering Europeans from North America.

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  • Reservation Blues: Notes From Indian Country
    July 1997

    Reservation Blues: Notes From Indian Country

    Just outside Tucson, Arizona, lies a foreign country. It is not Mexico, although that is close by, but Tohono O'odham Nation, an Indian reservation the size of Connecticut that is home to some 30,000 people.

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  • July 1997

    The Last Nomads

    In his journal, the psychologist William James records that he once met Sir James Frazer, whose Golden Bough had been among the first Western books to attempt to record systematically the beliefs of traditional peoples around the world.

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  • Bookman's Holiday
    May 1997

    Bookman's Holiday

    Saint Ambrose, the reputed author of the Athanasian Creed, did not move his lips when he read. Neither did Ambrose's pupil and colleague Saint Augustine.

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  • At Home in the World
    April 1997

    At Home in the World

    Gary Snyder's new books A Place in Space, a collection of essays and talks, and Mountains and Rivers Without End, a cycle of poems, are of a piece. Both summarize more than 40 years of writing on literary, environmental, and social concerns.

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  • Wallace Stegner, Writer of the West
    March 1997

    Wallace Stegner, Writer of the West

    Wallace Stegner's death on April 13, 1993, was not, as the cliche has it, untimely. He had lived to the respectable age of 85, after all; had lived to see the wide-open West of his early years carved by bulldozers, devoured by cities, and filled with people.

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  • Free at Last
    January 1997

    Free at Last

    The criminal trial of the former football great O.J. Simpson on the charge of murder, a trial that overshadows the Gulf War as the media event of the 1990's, has been over for more than a year.

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Results: 74 Articles found.