Following the Wrong God Home: Footloose in an American Dream (Outdoor Lives)

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9780803224315: Following the Wrong God Home: Footloose in an American Dream (Outdoor Lives)
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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.

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About the Author:

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.

Review:

“[Chisholm’s] prose is humorous and filled with sparkling phrases. For all travel collections.”—Library Journal (George M. Jenks Library Journal)

“[Chisholm’s] wide-ranging curiosity delights in all things western, from barbed wire, bison, and brands, to water, watermelons, and windmills. His perceptive insights are worth a second read. . . . At the end of four hundred pages, I was not ready to stop.”—Polly Aird, Western Historical Quarterly (Polly Aird Western Historical Quarterly)

“More than just an interesting travel narrative.”—Utah Historical Quarterly (Utah Historical Quarterly)

“A sometimes brutally frank debunking of both Mormon and American Dream myths and an eclectic and compelling narrative.”—Oklahoma Observer (Oklahoma Observer)

“A classic that will stand beside Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley and Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways for years to come.”—Andrew Armitage, Sun Times (Canada) (Sun Times)

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