Essential Muir

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Heyday Books, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 131 pages
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Cultural Writing. Essays. Preservationist. Inventor. Lobbyist. John Muir was many things at once, and he is California's best-known icon- so much so that his image was chosen to appear on the new state quarter. But the best way to know the man who founded the Sierra Club and helped create Yosemite National Park is to read his own words. ESSENTIAL MUIR is the second volume in the California Legacy Essentials Collection. Taking the best of John Muir's writings on nature- in which he waxes ecstatic even as he accurately describes the scientific attributes of a flower-as well as his thoughts on religion and society, this book presents a fresh look at one of California's greatest literary figures. His love for nature was so powerful-and his description of it so compelling-it still inspires us a century later.

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User Review  - kaylaraeintheway - LibraryThing

Muir's writing is very lovely, full of great descriptions and utter enthusiasm for his surroundings. Also included in this collection were excerpts from his autobiography, The Story of My Boyhood and ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

The naturalist John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland. When he was 11 years old, he moved to the United States with his family and lived on a Wisconsin farm, where he had to work hard for long hours. He would rise as early as one o'clock in the morning in order to have time to study. At the urging of friends, he took some inventions he had made to a fair in Madison, Wisconsin. This trip resulted in his attending the University of Wisconsin. After four years in school, he began the travels that eventually took him around the world. Muir's inventing career came to an abrupt end in 1867, when he lost an eye in an accident while working on one of his mechanical inventions. Thereafter, he focused his attention on natural history, exploring the American West, especially the Yosemite region of California. Muir traveled primarily on foot carrying only a minimum amount of food and a bedroll. In 1880 Muir married Louie Strentzel, the daughter of an Austrian who began the fruit and wine industry in California. One of the first explorers to postulate the role of glaciers in forming the Yosemite Valley, Muir also discovered a glacier in Alaska that later was named for him. His lively descriptions of many of the natural areas of the United States contributed to the founding of Yosemite National Park in 1890. His urge to preserve these areas for posterity led to his founding of the Sierra Club in 1892.

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