The American Elsewhere: Adventure and Manliness in the Age of Expansion

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Civil War Book Review, ISSN: 1528-6592, Vol: 20, Issue: 2, Page: 14

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Pratt, Adam
University Press of Kansas
review description
Taking aim at men who ventured west from the War of 812 to the Mexican War, and then wrote about their experiences, Jimmy Bryan uncovers a world of romance and sentiment seemingly at odds with the rough and tumble world these men explored. The contrast, however, makes sense in the context of the “elsewhere,” and it’s here that Bryan’s analysis of adventuring men in the first half of the 19th century shines. The “elsewhere” is not necessarily a single, geographic place; instead it is an imagining of the west that tied adventurism to the growth of the United States. By tracing the escapades of these adventurers, Bryan categorizes them in three different ways.