Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
On Trails: An Exploration Hardcover – July 12, 2016
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
- Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award
- Winner of the Pacific Northwest Book Award
- Finalist for the BC National Non-Fiction Award
- Longlist for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Science and Technology
“Like Montaigne, Mr. Moor writes about one subject as a way of touching on 100 others. Although his ostensible topic is how humans and other creatures make the routes that get them from A to B, On Trails also considers Greek mythology and the origins of life, the intricacy of caterpillar nests and the stealth of elephants, the physicist Richard Feynman and the Biblical Cain. The thicket of information here comes to resemble a densely wooded trail itself—one that Mr. Moor expertly navigates. He’s a philosopher on foot, recording his journey through miles of wilderness and through a mind sorting out the meaning of travel itself. … The only constant in On Trails is the promise of surprise.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“The best outdoors book of the year. … An outstanding work that should be read by anyone who has spent time following a footpath through the woods. Robert Moor’s debut book, On Trails, trips through natural history, anthropology, gonzo reporter’s adventures, and memoir in a ramble that unpacks the many meanings of the routes we humans and other animals sketch on the land. … The prologue alone is worth the price of admission: a nearly-30-page set piece about hiking the A.T. that puts Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed to shame. (Moor actually, you know, completed the full thru-hike.)”
“Part natural history, part scientific inquiry, but most of all a deeply thoughtful human meditation on how we walk through life, Moor’s book is enchanting.”
—The Boston Globe
“A wanderer’s dream, even from an armchair.”
“Stunning … a wondrous nonfiction debut. … In each chapter, Moor explores the same phenomenon in a surprising new context, from the fossilized traces of prehistoric smudges to swaths of jungle flattened by elephants, from the paths of nomadic Native Americans to the interstates that paved them over. Along the way, Moor reaches into the history of science, religion, and philosophy to trace similar lines of refinement in the amassing of knowledge and ideas. … It’s an exhilarating journey.”
“You might think of Robert Moor as the Roger Angell of trail-walking. Just as Angell’s reports on specific baseball games segue effortlessly into reflections on the venerable sport itself, so Moor looks up from whatever trail he may be on to see the big picture. Which is often very big, indeed. ... Highly satisfying … On Trails is an engaging blend of travelogue, sociology, history and philosophy that might be summed up as a meditation on the centrality of trails to animal and human life.”
—The Washington Post
“This book is about so many things: about breaking down the binary between ‘humanity’ and ‘nature,’ ‘civilization’ and ‘the wild.’ It’s an exploration of exploring, a philosophical-psychological-journalistic adventure in the tradition of Michael Pollan and Rebecca Solnit. … Not all who wander are lost, and Moor helps us see what they seek.”
—New York Magazine
“Moor’s writing compares better with wilderness philosophers like Annie Dillard or Edward Abbey. Each chapter of this GQ writer’s debut work is packed with ideas, switchbacking to and fro. Each idea is so carefully portrayed and deeply fascinating that I had to stop and catch my breath often. … It’s a beautiful trek through the human and natural landscapes of modern life.”
—Chicago Review of Books
“A beautiful thing to behold. … what a profoundly talented writer Moor is. He brings a keen essayist's eye to themes both personal and empiric; his prose is lush and lively and his analysis adroit — all making On Trails a true treat to read.”
About the Author
Robert Moor has written for Harper’s, n+1, New York, and GQ, among other publications. A recipient of the Middlebury Fellowship in Environmental Journalism, he has won multiple awards for his nonfiction writing. He lives in Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia. On Trails is his first book.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It isn't at all what I expected—it's a lot better! This book is an exploration of the trail as a planet-wide phenomenon; the trail's impact on science, animals, us, and the earth herself. Here, the trail becomes a metaphor for just about everything else. In "On Trails" we follow all sorts of paths ranging from traces left by an early life form hundreds of millions of years ago, to philosophical constructs about the physical and philosophical differences we Homo Sapiens give trails and paths: "...the difference between a trail and a path is directional: paths extend forward, whereas trails extend rearward." Paths..."are lines projected forward in space by the intellect... by contrast, trails tend to form in reverse, messily, from the passage of dirty feet."
It is a well-written book that will resonate with you if your brain works like mine—that is to say, a mind that is curious and wants to take a closer look at things.
On Trails: An Exploration, is a neatly tied bundle of those wild ideas we dream up when leaning back against the pack near the summit of a peak 4 days out from the nearest road. While it probably didn't happen this way, On Trails makes me wonder if the author, after wandering about in the green world carrying a heavy backpack for a couple of weeks, sat down all hot and sweaty, peeled off his socks in a moment of sheer ecstasy, then turned and asked, in the finest of non sequitur traditions, "Do you want to know the difference between a trail and a path?" Indeed!