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The Last American Man
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142002836, Paperback)
Finalist for the National Book Award 2002
In this rousing examination of contemporary American male identity, acclaimed author and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert explores the fascinating true story of Eustace Conway. In 1977, at the age of seventeen, Conway left his family's comfortable suburban home to move to the Appalachian Mountains. For more than two decades he has lived there, making fire with sticks, wearing skins from animals he has trapped, and trying to convince Americans to give up their materialistic lifestyles and return with him back to nature. To Gilbert, Conway's mythical character challenges all our assumptions about what it is to be a modern man in America; he is a symbol of much we feel how our men should be, but rarely are.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:57 -0400)
[In this book, the author] explores the 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, making fire with sticks, wearing skins from animals he trapped, and living off the land. A charismatic and romantic figure, both brilliant and tormented, brave and contradictory, restless and ambitious, Conway has always seen himself as a "Man of Destiny" whose goal is to convince modern Americans to give up their materialistic lifestyles and return with him back to nature. [The author] tells of Eustace's crusade and his extraordinary wilderness adventures, including his 2000-mile hike down the Appalachian Trail (surviving almost exclusively on what he could hunt and gather along the way) and his legendary journey across America on horseback." To [her], Eustace Conway's mythical character challenges all our assumptions about what it is to be a modern man in America; he is a symbol of what we feel our men should be, but rarely are. From his example, she delivers a look at an archetypal American man and - from the point of view of a contemporary woman - refracts masculine American identity in all its conflicting elements of inventiveness, narcissism, isolation, and intimacy.-Dust jacket.
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