Forest and dream: Adventure, nostalgia, and the making of a sporting-tourist’s America, 1873-1890

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In the Gilded Age of the 1870s and 1880s, in the decades between the Civil War and the closing of the Western frontier, the pioneering, New York-based outdoor-sports magazine Forest and Stream made an essential contribution to a larger cultural reimagining of America. For its readers, the magazine was an important source of practical advice, but its accounts of outdoor pursuits in wild landscapes across the United States also encouraged fantasies of travel and adventure. By examining Forest and Stream, this article seeks to understand how nostalgia played into those fantasies, shaping an idea of the nation along the way. Rather than treating the West as a region with a discrete cultural history, this article seeks to place it in a larger national context. And accordingly, it suggests that outdoor-recreation magazines can provide a vital perspective on the way nostalgia and adventure fantasy combined in negotiating the relationship between the metropolitan Northeast, the West, and the South in the cultural remaking of the nation at what was a crucial historical juncture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-320
Number of pages28
JournalComparative American Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • adventure fiction
  • American West
  • consumerism
  • nationalism
  • nostalgia
  • Outdoor recreation
  • outdoor-sports magazines
  • tourism

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