“The Last American Man”

A biography published by Viking, 2002.

Fascinating true story of Eustace Conway, who left his comfortable suburban home at the age of 17 to move into the Appalachian Mountains, where for the last 20 years he has lived off the land.

An excerpt of The Last American Man

Q & A on Last American Man

Reviews & Profiles:

Publishers Weekly

“Gilbert has a jaunty, breathless style, and she paints a complicated portrait of American maleness that is as original as it is surprising.”


“Gilbert, a top-notch journalist and fiction writer, braids keen and provocative observations about the American frontier, the myth of the mountain man, and the peculiar state of contemporary America with its ‘profound alienation’ from nature into her spirited and canny portrait.”

-Donna Seaman

 The New York Times Book Review

“Wickedly well-written… There are two parts to The Last American Man: Conway?s personal story, which is fascinating enough, and the way it entwines with the American preoccupation with robust, can-do masculinity.”

– James Gorman, The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

Outside Magazine

“The finest examination of American masculinity and wilderness since Jon Krakauer’s ‘Into The Wild.’ To meet Eustace Conway is to be dazzled…Reading The Last American Man is like listening to a friend tell you about an unbelievable character over a bottle of house red.”

 Los Angeles Times

“Insightful…explores through the lens of Eustace Conway’s particular life our modern infatuation with the myth of the pioneering man and succeeds in uncovering the human reality behind it.”

Douglas Brinkley

“Elizabeth Gilbert has done a marvelous job of profiling Eustace Conway — a modern-day Jim Bridger whose every hour roaming American is laden with mythological magic. The Last American Man is, in fact, the best book of New Journalism to appear since Tom Wolfe published The Right Stuff. A truly delightful, outrageous, unforgettable saga.”

“The Last American Man”

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Atlantic Journal-Constitution

“Conway is a character almost too good to be believed. In Gilbert, he may have found the perfect writer to tell his story.”

 Houston Chronicle

“Gilbert has written what may be her best book yet.”


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