John Muir: nature's visionary

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National Geographic Society, Nov 1, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
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Emigrating from Scotland as an eleven-year-old in 1849, John Muir spent a harsh boyhood working on his family's farm in Wisconsin. After a factory accident in his early twenties left him temporarily blind, Muir left behind what he saw as the degradations of cities and farms and set out for unspoiled territory. And the rest, as they say, is ecological and conservation history.

The untouched lands of the Sierra Nevada, which he christened the "Range of Light", became Muir's lifelong passion. As the nation's most revered spokesman for the wilderness and a founder of the Sierra Club, Muir made immeasurable contributions to the beauty and preservation of our continent. And this exquisite book captures as never before the extraordinary nature of his life. Prize-winning photographer Lynn Johnson brings the matchless vitality of this bearded warrior to thrilling life. The visual odyssey is further enriched by reproductions of Muir's own drawings as well as the rarely seen and recently rediscovered images of Carleton Watkins. Showcasing its legendary subject's own rhapsodic writings, John Muir: Nature's Visionary bears powerful witness to Muir's enduring contributions to the American landscape.

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This is the most accessible well written book about John Muir and his remarkable life. Whether they know it or not, anyone that has been to wilderness in North America has been directly or indirectly impacted by the vision, writing, and hard work of Muir. Ehrlich is an excellent writer and brings the range of Muir's life to the page with grace. 


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About the author (2000)

Gretel Ehrlich is the author of This Cold Heaven (available in paperback from Vintage Books) and The Solace of Open Spaces, among other works of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She divides her time between California and Wyoming.