Donald Worster's A Passion for Nature is the most complete account of the great conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club ever written. It is the first to be based on Muir's full private correspondence and to meet modern scholarly standards, yet it is also full of rich detail and personal anecdote, uncovering the complex inner life behind the legend of the solitary mountain man. It traces Muir from his boyhood in Scotland and frontier Wisconsin to his adult life in California right after the Civil War up to his death on the eve of World War I. It explores his marriage and family life, his relationship with his abusive father, his many friendships with the humble and famous (including Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and his role in founding the modern American conservation movement. Inspired by Muir's passion for the wilderness, Americans created a long and stunning list of national parks and wilderness areas, Yosemite most prominent among them. Yet the book also describes a Muir who was a successful fruit-grower, a talented scientist and world-traveler, a doting father and husband, and a self-made man of wealth and political influence. The winner of numerous book awards, A Passion for Nature was also named a Best Book of 2008 by Washington Post Book World . It is the first comprehensive biography of Muir to appear in six decades.
"A wonderful book that celebrates Muir's life and legacy."--San Francisco Chronicle
"An excellent new biography of John Muir..."--New York Review of Books
"To write this excellent biography of John Muir, Donald Worster zealously ransacked the letters and journals of the great, self-taught naturalist.... This well-written biography reveals a man whose mission in life was simply to entice people to see Nature's loveliness."--True West
"With this splendid biography, Donald Worster...reminds us of the debt we owe John Muir... Mr. Worster's meticulous research and fluid writing style make A Passion for Nature a model of biography."--Dallas Morning News
"John Muir's battles to preserve the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite Park, his founding of the Sierra Club, his final, bitter, unsuccessful effort to save Hetch Hetchy Valley, his pioneering insights into the geology of the glacial age, and his late Victorian combination of religion and pantheism have been extensively chronicled. What is unique about A Passion for Nature is the skill with which Worster places Muir in a political context. Worster helps us understand how the love of nature is related to other social movements for equality, that human indifference to the natural world is morally an example of the oppressive hierarchies that mar our history." --Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club
"Donald Worster's A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir is an engagingly written, adroitly balanced appraisal that places its subject within the emerging environmental consciousness of the late 19th century. Drawing on a host of letters and journals, Worster, a highly regarded historian of environmental movements, composes a complete and completely appealing picture of a more complicated man than we thought we knew."--Boston Globe
"A towering biography of a towering figure! John Muir is one of those very few Americans who reshaped the way we saw the world. This volume, from one of our most eminent historians, makes clear both the sources and the meaning of Muir's great and wild epiphany." --Bill McKibben, author of The Bill McKibben Reader
"...this marvelously fluent portrait of the man who sought to establish 'an ethic of environmental restraint' a century ago and whose powerful arguments still hold."--Booklist
"The record of Muir's life that Worster has scrupulously assembled, fascinating in its own right, takes on added significance as Worster sets it in context."--New York Times Book Review
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
Oxford University Press, Incorporated
September 20, 2008
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.