The Last American Man

The Last American Man

Book - 2002
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In The Last American Man, acclaimed journalist and fiction writer Elizabeth Gilbert offers a fresh cultural examination of contemporary American male identity and the uniquely American desire to return to the wilderness. Gilbert explores what pushed men to settle the frontier West in the nineteenth century and delves into the history of American utopian communities. But her primary focus is on the fascinating true story of Eustace Conway, who left his comfortable suburban home at the age of seventeen to move into the Appalachian Mountains, where for the last twenty years he has lived off the land. Conway's romantic character challenges all our assumptions about what it means to be a man today; he is a symbol of much that we feel our men should be, but rarely are. From his example, Gilbert delivers an intriguing exploration into the meaning of American manhood and-from the point of view of a woman-refracts masculine American identity in all its conflicting elements. Like Jon Krakauer's national bestseller Into the Wild, this book will find an enthusiastic audience among women, readers of American history, and those interested in nature and the wild.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2002
ISBN: 9780670030866
0670030864
Branch Call Number: B Conway Gilbert
Characteristics: 271 p. ; 24 cm

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Septemberly
Sep 14, 2014

This is an interesting and honest biography of a lesser-known American icon. I had a romanticized ideal of Eustace Conway before reading this book, but it seems he is a controlling, unforgiving man. His need to be right has ultimately ruined his personal life, but I still admire his determination, courage, and spirit. One day, I hope to visit Turtle Island Preserve.

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