American Nomads: Travels with Lost Conquistadors, Mountain Men, Cowboys, Indians, Hoboes, Truckers, and Bullriders

Overview


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 RV?s, 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 ...
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Overview


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 RV?s, 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.
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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT
America seen from the outside is a literary tradition, dating back since before it was a nation. Grant, a British writer with wanderlust in his blood, writes in this tradition. Raised in Kuwait and other exotic places, Grant finds living in one country, like his own England, or even sleeping in the same bed for too long, very confining. In some brilliant descriptions, Grant writes about his own travels by comparing them with travels of American nomads, ranging from modern truck drivers, hoboes and hippies to historical figures from the past like Coronado, DeSoto, Scotch-Irish pioneers, and Native American tribes like the Apaches. It is no wonder that America, founded by people who left their own countries to "settle" here, is filled with people who don't want to settle anywhere. Grant agrees with Rudyard Kipling, who wrote, "there are two types of men: those who stay at home and those who do not," with the caveat that "men" has to be expanded to "people." Grant is a good writer, but librarians may be concerned that their young readers will be too inspired by his adventures and take off for parts unknown! KLIATT Codes: JSA—Recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2003, Grove, 311p. map. bibliog., Ages 12 to adult.
—Nola Theiss
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802141804
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 311
  • Sales rank: 400,557
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Grant
Richard Grant

Richard Grant is an award-winning travel writer who has published his work in Men's Journal, Esquire, and Details, among others. He is also the author of American Nomads and God's Middle Finger. Grant currently lives in Tucson, Arizona.
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