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John Muir : Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays (Library of America) Hardcover – April 22, 1997

4.9 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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  • John Muir : Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays (Library of America)
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This volume is virtually an entire library of Muir. It combines The Story of My Boyhood and Youth, My First Summer in the Sierra, The Mountains of California, Stickteen, and a number of his essays along with illustrations, a chronology of his life, and scholarly notes. At $35, this is a remarkable bargain for public and academic libraries alike.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

The richness of his writing roots deeper into the terrain than any other wilderness writer known to me. -- David Craig, Los Angeles Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America (Book 92)
  • Hardcover: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (April 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883011248
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883011246
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,632 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In a world brimming with wonderful volumes of the work of John Muir, here is the one edition in which you may find virtually everything you seek. To find it in such a handsome, handy, easy to negotiate book makes this a must for all lovers of Muir's writing. Eight inches tall by six wide and two inches thick, it is a durable and willing partner for excursions through the wilderness. Created for long life among library shelves and scholarly studies, this sleek little friend stows away quite comfortably in backpack or oversized coat pocket. Those who don't know Mr. Muir will meet the great lover of wildness (and perhaps history's most influential advocate of preservation) presented in a lovingly researched volume which includes informative notes on the evolution of Muir's field journal entries into published pieces, a chronology of his life and literary career, and all of the major writings for which he is known. A generous selection of his published essays and magazine articles reveal many previously unsuspected jewels of poetic prose. As a lifetime devotee of the works of Shakespeare, the Bible, and the immortal Scottish bard Robert Burns, Muir could recite extensive passages from all. Likewise, his writing breezes through the imagery and lessons drawn from these potent sources. Coffee table books brimming with Ansel Adams photography, biographies of Muir, and collections of his correspondence are all aspects of any comprehensive Muir collection. The words themselves, however, simple and elegantly bound, are where the journey might well begin.
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Format: Hardcover
"American forests! the glory of the world!"
- John Muir, 1901

Of all the extraordinary men and women that have made our nation great, one stands above all others for his dedication to preserving its unequaled natural beauty: John Muir. Founder of The Sierra Club, this lover of the western forests' legacy to our generation is the National Park system, through which millions of acres of unique ecosystems have been set aside for everyone's enjoyment.
"Muir: Nature Writings" is a collection of the writings of this Scottish expatriate who first stepped foot in America in 1849 as an eleven year old brawler and budding naturalist. Blessed with a childhood mastery of Latin and Greek as well as a discerning and disciplined eye, the learned boy possessed a poet's heart, a scientist's mind, and a theologian's soul. A genius, who as a teen whittled precision wooden scientific instruments, Muir used his diverse skills to vividly portray nature's life and death struggles on his family's Wisconsin farm in "My Boyhood & Youth." Here we find Muir learning to swim by observing frogs or recollecting the mindless slaughter of the Earth's most numerous bird, the now-extinct passenger pigeon, a forlorn tale that foreshadows the conservationist he was to become.
While in college polishing his mechanical skills, Muir was detoured into studying botany. Dropping out to make powered tools for factories, an accident left him rethinking that detour; he forsook the factory and walked across America. His journey led him to the Sierra Mountains, chronicled in "My First Summer in the Sierra." Now working as a shepherd, Muir drove his flock through Yosemite while making detailed nature studies.
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Format: Hardcover
John Muir was one of the founders of the early 20th century conservation movement and godfather to today's environmentalism. This collection of three books and shorter works demonstrates the reason. Muir's description of the natural world is at times scientific, at others spiritual. Here nature is not some remote thing but the living manifestation of God's love. This is not a religious book as such and yet he finds that all parts of the natural creation from rocks and mountains to trees and animals have inherent within them a life force which makes them precious. Humans are neither removed from nor a "higher" part of nature. Muir shows that we are part of this larger whole - a radical concept when he proposed it and radical still. Muir set the standard in calling for preservation of the natural world. He was a genius as an inventor and scientist and, in addition, is one of our finest writers ever. These collected Nature Writings are simply beautiful and wonderfully presented in this Library of America edition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've only read "My First Summer in the Sierra," and attest to Muir's enchanting style and lucidity. He writes as an enthusiast, but gives his stories a plain-spoken clarity that can be enjoyed by all.

Muir must have been quite an individual - after working as a shepherd for a few months, he talks of getting time off from his employer, "tying some bread to his belt, and walking to Mammoth" from the Merced area of the western foothills of the Sierras. Yep, a nice casual stroll. Or climbing and looking down into the ice cone on Yosemite Falls. Why not? It's there every winter...

I hope Library of America will put out another volume so they can make "The Yosemite" available to all. In it, Muir describes the three native Californian "Yosemite" (Tuolumne, Sequoia, and Kings) almost as a tour guide. This book is a glaring omission from the LoA volume, and gives great insight into the mind of the premier conservationist of the early 1900s.

As always, LoA delivers a quality volume at a good price.
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John Muir : Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays (Library of America)
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