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American Nomads: Travels with Lost…
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American Nomads: Travels with Lost Conquistadors, Mountain Men, Cowboys,…

by Richard Grant

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This book was so fascinating, I must have about half the bibliography on the small room floor, waiting to be read. ( )
  dmarsh451 | Apr 1, 2013 |
Some people are "Born Under a Wondering Star" or with itchy feet that have to me on the move. More power to them, they will see more of the world than I ever will. ( )
  cwflatt | Mar 10, 2012 |
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Epigraph
I take SPACE to be the central fact to man born in America, from Folsom cave to now. I spell it large because it comes large here. Large and without mercy... Some men ride on such space, others have to fasten themselves like a tent stake to survive.
Charles Olson, Call Me Ishmael
But there are things which you have said to me which I do not like. They were not sweet like sugar, but bitter like gourds. You have said that you want to put us on a reservation, to build us houses and make us medicine lodges [hospitals]. I do not want them. I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures and everything drew a free breath. I want to die there and not within walls.
Ten Bears (Comanche) at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, 1867
... to really tell about this whole extraordinary culture―in Texas and the Southwest, all the way to California―of aimless wandering, this mobile, uprooted life: the seven-mile-long trailer parks, the motorcycles, the campers, the people who have no addresses or even last names.
Truman Capote, Capote: A Biography
Dedication
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[prologue]
Looking back at my own American wanderings, they seem to flow together as one; memories strung out on a single cord of highway, fourteen years long and headed nowhere in particular.
Notes from an all-night truck stop on the outskirts of Albuquerque.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Originally published in the UK with title: Ghost riders : travels with American nomads
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802141803, Paperback)

Fascinated by the land of endless horizons, sunshine, and the open road, Richard Grant spent fifteen years wandering throughout the United States, never spending more than three weeks in one place and getting to know America's nomads, truckers, tramps, rodeo cowboys, tie-dyed concert followers, flea market traders, retirees who live year round in their RVs, and the murderous Freight Train Riders of America (FTRA). In a richly comic travelogue, Grant uses these lives and his own to examine the myths and realities of the wandering life and its contradiction with the sedentary American dream. Along with a personal account, American Nomads traces the history of wandering in the New World, through vividly told stories of frontiersmen, fur trappers and cowboys, Comanche and Apache warriors, all the way back to the first Spanish explorers who crossed the continent. What unites these disparate characters, as they range back and forth across the centuries, is a stubborn conviction that the only true freedom is to roam across the land.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:52 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Richard Grant spent fifteen years wandering throughout the United States, never spending more than three weeks in one place, and getting to know America's nomads: truckers, tramps, rodeo cowboys, tie-dyed T-shirt concert followers, flea market traders, retirees who live year-round in their RVs, and the murderous Freight Train Riders of America (FTRA). As an outsider aching for the "balm of motion," Grant uses these lives and his own to examine the myths and realities of the wandering life. Along with a personal account, American Nomads traces the history of wandering in the New World, through vividly told stories of frontiersmen, fur trappers and cowboys, Comanche and Apache warriors, all the way back to the first Spanish explorers who crossed the continent.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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