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The Last American Man

ISBN: 9780670030866 | 0670030864
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Viking Adult
Pub. Date: 5/13/2002

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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.

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