The Last American Man

The Last American Man

Book - 2003
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[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.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2003
ISBN: 9780142002834
0142002836
Branch Call Number: 305.31 CONWA GILBE
Characteristics: 271 pages ; 20 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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