In a lifetime of exploration, writing, and passionate political activism, John Muir became America's most eloquent spokesman for the mystery and majesty of the wilderness. A crucial figure in the creation of our national parks system and a far-seeing prophet of environmental awareness who founded the Sierra Club in 1892, he was also a master of natural description who evoked with unique power and intimacy the untrammeled landscapes of the American West. The Library of America's Nature Writings collects his most significant and best-loved works in a single volume, including: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), The Mountains of California (1894) and Stickeen (1909). Rounding out the volume is a rich selection of essays—including "Yosemite Glaciers," "God's First Temples," "Snow-Storm on Mount Shasta," "The American Forests," and the late appeal "Save the Redwoods"—highlighting various aspects of his career: his exploration of the Grand Canyon and of what became Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, his successful crusades to preserve the wilderness, his early walking tour to Florida, and the Alaska journey of 1879.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
About the author
John Muir (1838-1914) was born in Scotland. In 1849 he emigrated with his family to the United States, where he later enrolled in courses in chemistry, geology, and botany at the University of Wisconsin. Muir made extended journeys throughout America, observing both scientifically and enthusiastically the beauties of the wilderness. The Mountains of California, his first book, was published in 1894. He eventually settled in California, where he became an impassioned leader of the forest conservation movement. His writings include Our National Parks (1901), My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), The Yosemite (1912), Travels in Alaska (1915), A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916), and Steep Trails (1918).
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