Strains of nostalgia laced the fin de siècle culture of late nineteenth-century America. In the 1890s, economic depression and political unrest cast a shadow over the future of the republic, but fond memories of a triumphal past offered solace and reassurance. And well they might. In less than a century earlier, the United States expanded across a large continent and maintained its nationhood despite the challenges of distance and a destructive Civil War. With expansion came the acquisition of the American West, the backdrop for Epiphany in the Wilderness—the storied saga of the hunt, the hunter, and the hunted. In parsing the performance and the drama, Jones argues that the recounting of hunting events assumes a time-honored cultural ritual in the narrative of American history, the making of “the West as site of personal and social memory.” She declares, “The nineteenth century was irrevocably shaped by westward expansion, and...
Epiphany in the Wilderness: Hunting, Nature, and Performance in the Nineteenth-Century American West. By Karen R. Jones (Boulder, University Press of Colorado, 2015) 363 pp. $55.00
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William D. Rowley; Epiphany in the Wilderness: Hunting, Nature, and Performance in the Nineteenth-Century American West. By Karen R. Jones (Boulder, University Press of Colorado, 2015) 363 pp. $55.00. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2017; 47 (4): 567–568. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/JINH_r_01072
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