Following the Wrong God Home: Footloose in an American Dream by Clive Scott Chisholm
Clive Scott Chisholm wryly describes himself as a “fugitive from the American Dream.” A displaced Canadian and a legally “registered alien,” Chisholm set out from his home in upstate New York in 1985 to discover the origins of that dream. In Following the Wrong God Home, he recounts his personal odyssey, describing the people he encountered and the unforgettable stories they told.
Chisholm’s solo journey on foot from the Missouri River to Salt Lake City retraced the 1,100-mile trek of nineteenth-century Mormon pioneers. In this account, he juxtaposes that Mormon search for the dream of “community” against the modern search for the American dream of “individuality,” muses over how much and how little things have changed in the century-and-a-half since 1847, and creates a narrative informed by the American dreamers he came across from Omaha to Salt Lake City.
Clive Scott Chisholm (1936–2007) was an associate professor and former head of the Department of Communication at Utah State University. His poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in numerous journals. William Kittredge is the award-winning author of several books, including A Hole in the Sky: A Memoir, and most recently, The Next Rodeo: New and Selected Essays.