The Last American Man

The Last American Man

Length: 288 pages
ASIN: 0142002836
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About the Book

Publisher’s description:

What does it mean to be a man in modern America? Do men somehow better themselves when they leave civilization and head into the woods? The Last American Man is a cultural examination of contemporary American male identity and the uniquely American desire to return to the wilderness.

From the frontier West to American utopian communities, Elizabeth Gilbert has produced a history of American manhood as it has never been told before.

To illustrate her story, Gilbert uses the rich and fascinating case study of Eustace Conway, a man who has lived in the Appalachian Mountains since the age of 17. Conway has worked tirelessly to try to convince his fellow Americans to give up self-destructive modern lifestyles and return with him to the primal sanctuary of the wilderness. He is a living metaphor that challenges all assumptions about what it is to be a modern man in America.

The Last American Man is at the same time an adventure saga and a thoughtful meditation on the relationship of man to the wilderness. It is also a reflection of masculine American identity in all its conflicting elements—energy, isolation, narcissism, inventiveness, audacity, and destiny.

Finalist for the National Book Award 2002

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