Education of a Wandering Man

Front Cover
Bantam, 1989 - Biography & Autobiography - 232 pages
142 Reviews
Shortly before his death in June 1988, Louis L’Amour completed writing his most unique adventure story: a personal reflection on his lifelong love affair with learning. Now Bantam Books proudly presents this special Centennial Edition of Education of a Wandering Man, in which L’Amour vividly recalls many of the books he read, the places he visited, and the people he met that catalyzed his evolution as a writer.

In this, his most personal book ever, L’Amour writes of growing up in Jamestown, North Dakota, of the parents who instilled in him a love of the printed and spoken word, and of his decision to leave school at fifteen to make the world his classroom. While his contemporaries attended high school, L’Amour skinned cattle in Texas, worked as a circus roustabout and a mine caretaker, won small-town prizefighting exhibitions, hoboed across Texas on the Southern Pacific, and shipped out to the West Indies, England, and Singapore as a merchant seaman. Wherever he wandered, his pockets were always bulging with books.

Like the beloved Louis L’Amour novels and short stories that preceded it, Education of a Wandering Man has its share of frontier drama—such as the author’s desperate two-day trek across the blazing Mojave Desert—and robust characters, ranging from Shanghai waterfront toughs to itinerant desert prospectors. All this ultimately informed and inspired the books that have made L’Amour one of the most widely read authors of our time.

Ever both teacher and storyteller, Louis L’Amour makes his education our education, in a book filled with glorious asides on everything from hobo culture to the fate of Butch Cassidy.

Here is a testament—part memoir, part reflection—in which the author bequeaths to us a most wonderful legacy of the “education of a wandering man”: a life lived to the fullest through the never-ending quest for knowledge.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Louis L'Amour was a famous writer. - Goodreads
In a section, Louis talked about being an writer. - Goodreads
Philosophical and profound with great storytelling - Goodreads
And get a insight in it even more. - Goodreads
Mr. L'amour was so much more than a western writer. - Goodreads
A quality read from a writer I know very little about. - Goodreads

Review: Education of a Wandering Man

User Review  - Cindy - Goodreads

I expected some great stories but instead got lists of all the books he's read, his thoughts on world history and being a writer. It's wonderful that's how he educated himself but I wanted cool stories from a long interesting life! Disappointed. Read full review

Review: Education of a Wandering Man

User Review  - Pat Tucker - Goodreads

This is my third time to read Louis L'Amour's memoir. His life was indeed one that was lived to the fullest. He left school at 15 and became a hobo in search of education. He was a prolific reader who ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

21 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1989)

Louis L'Amour is undoubtedly the bestselling frontier novelist of all time. He is the only American-born author in history to receive both the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of his life's work. He has published ninety novels; twenty-seven short-story collections; two works of nonfiction; a memoir, Education of a Wandering Man; and a volume of poetry, Smoke from This Altar. There are more than 300 million copies of his books in print worldwide.

Bibliographic information