The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert: My honest thoughts on the book’s plot, characters, and overall impact.

Finalist for the National Book Award

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Eat Pray LoveBig Magic and City of Girls comes a riveting exploration of manhood and all its complicated meanings through the portrait of an American Mountain Man. 

In The Last American Man, Elizabeth Gilbert explores the complex meanings of manhood through the life of Eustace Conway. At seventeen, Conway left his suburban home in 1977 to live in the Appalachian Mountains, embracing a life of primitive survival.

For over two decades, Conway has thrived in the wilderness, making fire with sticks, wearing animal skins, and advocating for a return to nature and simplicity. His lifestyle challenges conventional American values and materialism, presenting a stark contrast to modernity.

Through Conway’s story, Gilbert examines contemporary American male identity, portraying him as a symbol of an idealized yet rarely achieved manhood in today’s society.

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The Last American Man By Elizabeth Gilbert

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What are The Last American Man Characters?


  • Eustace Conway: The American Mountain Man who lives a primitive lifestyle in the Appalachian Mountains.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert: The author and journalist who explores Conway’s life and its implications on modern manhood.

The Last American Man By Elizabeth Gilbert, Read Time

To begin, this is a fantastic weekend read. If you’re one who enjoys recharging your energies during the holidays, you’ll find “The Last American Man” very helpful.

The Last American Man can be read in approximately 6-8 hours, providing an in-depth exploration of Eustace Conway’s life and its broader cultural implications.

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The Last American Man By Elizabeth Gilbert: Details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Riverhead Hardcover (May 13, 2002)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 271 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0670030864
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0670030866
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.18 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.3 x 1.13 x 9.32 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #1,231,073 in Books

About Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert is a #1 New York Times bestselling author known for Eat, Pray, Love, The Last American Man, and the short story collection Pilgrims. She has won several awards, and her work has appeared in major publications like Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine.


The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert is a compelling read for those interested in the exploration of contemporary male identity and the clash between modernity and primitive living. With its engaging narrative and profound insights, the book challenges readers to reconsider their own values and assumptions about manhood and simplicity.

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