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Grand Canyon Celebration: A Father-Son Journey of Discovery

Patton, Michael Quinn

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ISBN 10: 1573922668 / ISBN 13: 9781573922661
Published by Prometheus Books, 1999
Used Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From H.S. Bailey (Fort Myers, FL, U.S.A.)

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complete number line - 1st printing therefore 1st edition, Inscribed - Signed and Dated on half title page, very light rubbing to bottom corners of boards, dj shows 3 tiny tears along top and a 1/4" tear to bottom right and a small chip to corner of front panel, map of Grand Canyon to inside boards and end papers. Bookseller Inventory # BX-524

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Grand Canyon Celebration: A Father-Son ...

Publisher: Prometheus Books

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Inscribed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


When Brandon was born, Michael Quinn Patton began pondering how best to celebrate the day his son would become a man. As a sociologist, Patton was intrigued with the rich history of coming-of-age rites of passage for young men, dating to ancient tribal cultures. But as a humanist he was wary of contemporary men's movements and their stressing of new age spiritualities.
When Brandon turned 18, Patton took his son to a place of mystery and wonder-the Grand Canyon-where they could explore together what it means to come of age. With an anthropologist as their guide, Patton and his son hiked the magnificent and dangerous canyon, exploring the oldest exposed rock on Earth while delving deeply into ancient coming-of-age myths like the Grail Legend. They found themselves faced with choices between fundamentally opposed paradigms: tribe-based warrior initiation and an emergent humanist celebration of father-son bonding and rational deliberation.
Written in the tradition of The Man Who Walked Through Time, and Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, this is the story of the Pattons' remarkable journey of discovery as they learn about history and geology, false spirituality, facing danger together, and what it means to be a man in today's world.
Patton cuts across many branches of social thought and belief: humanism, skepticism, father-son relations and men's movements, liberal religions, mythology, psychology, and social science. Life-affirming lessons of mutuality and acceptance are captured in Grand Canyon Celebration, a timeless memoir for all families as they journey through the canyons of their own lives.


Grand Canyon Celebration is a stunning, deeply personal, and profound account of a true, contemporary father-son coming-of-age ritual in the Grand Canyon. When Michael Quinn Patton's son Brandon turned 18, the two of them joined a mystical anthropologist and descended into the canyon for a 10-day trek. Patton, a social science professor, was interested in the differences between tribal manhood rituals (where the adolescent struggles to separate from the tribe to form an identity) and the modern adolescent struggle (to find and maintain a connection to the family). Through the lenses of the modern-day men's movement, formal skepticism, mythology, psychology, and ancient legends, the Pattons explored Brandon's coming-of-age while challenging themselves physically in the deepest exposed rock on Earth. Grand Canyon Celebration should be required reading for parents of teenage sons seeking ways to initiate them into the adult world, and is highly recommended for all readers interested in the father-son relationship, hiking, nature, social thought, or the conflicts between New Age and secular humanist theories. Patton is a beautiful, thoughtful writer, and his balance of geographical imagery and questioning intellect will keep readers turning pages. --Ericka Lutz

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