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The Visionary Goes West: Stephen Graham's American Odyssey

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Studies in Travel Writing
Issue number2
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)179-196
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Stephen Graham is best remembered today for his numerous books and articles popularising the idea of Holy Russia in the years before 1917. He was in fact a prolific author, who wrote more than 50 books, including works of fiction, travel books, and historical biographies. In the early 1920s Graham made a number of trips to North America, both because he recognised that there was a buoyant market for books about the region, and because he hoped to find there a new ‘land of lost content’ to take the place of Russia in his life. Graham's travel books about North America were full of acute observations and anecdotes. They also, though, reflected his deep horror at the social and environmental consequences of industrialisation. During his trips to America, Graham gradually came to terms with the contradictory realities of life in the modern United States. While he relished the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains and the deserts of the South West, he increasingly realised that the future of American society was being indelibly shaped by the forces of commercial development that were no longer confined to the towns and cities of the North West.