viii, 345 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Includes bibliographical references (297-329) and index.
Introduction: Want to Get Lost? -- Brutal symmetry -- Helpful woods and violent waters -- Children of the revolution -- Homing -- Dead-certain mental compass -- Keep your head -- Male pattern trail loss -- Epilogue: Disconnect.
"An award-winning environmental historian explores American history through wrenching, tragic, and sometimes humorous stories of getting lost. The human species has a propensity for getting lost. The American people, inhabiting a mental landscape shaped by their attempts to plant roots and to break free, are no exception. In this engaging book, environmental historian Jon Coleman bypasses the trailblazers so often described in American history to follow instead the strays and drifters who went missing. From Hernando de Soto's failed quest for riches in the American southeast to the recent trend of getting lost as a therapeutic escape from modernity, this book details a unique history of location and movement as well as the confrontations that occur when our physical and mental conceptions of space become disjointed. Whether we get lost in the woods, the plains, or the digital grid, Coleman argues that getting lost allows us to see wilderness anew and connect with generations across five centuries to discover a surprising and edgy American identity"-- book jacket.