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Periodicals and Notable Recent Articles from Periodicals

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Periodicals Devoted to John Muir     [up to table of contents]

John Muir Newsletter - Including links to feature articles
     Contents - Including links to PDF files of selected back issues
Published by the John Muir Center for Environmental Studies
This newsletter provides news, analysis, and book reviews relating to the life and legacy of John Muir.

"The View From John Muir's Window" (off-site link)
The newsletter of the John Muir Memorial Association (off-site link)
This newsletter, published since 1972, includes descriptions of various aspects of John Muir's life, occasional letters and comments by Muir or his contemporaries, and current news relating to the John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez.

Sierra Club Bulletin John Muir Memorial Number Volume 10, Number 1, January 1916
This special issue of the Sierra Club Bulletin, published shortly after Muir's death, contains many informative essays and tributes by people who knew him.

The Pacific Historian, The World of John Muir (Stockton: Holt-Atherton Pacific Center for Western Studies, University of the Pacific, 1981).
A fine collection of scholarly essays with historical photos and sketches, by several notable Muir experts. An illustrated book jacket summary (from the book's front matter), including the table of contents and author biographies is available.

The Pacific Historian, John Muir: Life and Legacy (Stockton: Holt-Atherton Center for Western Studies, Univ. of the Pacific 1985).
This publications consists of twelve papers among 25 presented at a major conference held in 1985 at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA. Many of them broke new ground in Muir historiography by utilizing scholarly resources in the Muir-Hanna family collection at the University of the Pacific that had not been accessible before.

Chronicling America - Historic American Newspapers (1777-1963) - U.S. Library of Congress. Use their search engine to discover hundreds of historical articles about John Muir.


Anonymous, "The Wildflowers of Mr. Muir."
Sunset Vol. 200, No. 3, (March 01, 1998), p. 82.
Photographs with Muir quotes of three spots in California that bloom as gloriously as they did in John Muir's time.

Arden, Harvey, "John Muir's Wild America"
National Geographic (April, 1973)
Photographs by Dewitt Jones accompany this account of Muir and the places he loved. The National Geographic Society subsequently published a book, in 1976, with the same title, by Tom Melham, Photographs by Farrell Grehan.

Brock, Mary Jane, "Sierra Prelude: Muir and LeConte in the South"
Sierra Club Bulletin March, 1976.
An essay pointing out that although founded in California, the Sierra Club has roots in the Deep South, in the persons of Muir, who made A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf, and Joseph LeConte, a Georgian who became a noted geologist and colleague of Muir in the Sierra Club.

Dosch, Arno, "The Mystery of John Muir's Money: A Simple Naturalist's Studies in the Temple of Mammon," Sunset, 1916, pg. 20 et seq. (PDF) (public domain)

Downing, Kevin J., "John Muir: Saving Yosemite"
Scholastic Update, v. 126: no. 13, p. 15. 1994 April 15.
An overview of John Muir and his efforts to persuade President Theodore Roosevelt to protect Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy, and the Giant Sequoias.

Fleck, Richard F., "John Muir's Evolving Attitudes toward Native American Cultures"
American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Feb., 1978), pp. 19-31.
Reviews how Muir's early fears of Native Americans was replaced by great appreciation when coming to know the Natives of Alaska.

Gillis, Michael J., "John Muir and the Bidwells: The Forgotten Friendship"
Dogtown Territorial Quarterly , Spring, 1995, No. 21, pp. 4-5, 18-23, 26, 31. Reprinted by John Muir Center for Regional Studies, in "John Muir Newsletter, Spring 1996."
A fascinating article about the 37-year friendship between John Muir and the Bidwell family of Chico, California, where the Bidwell Mansion is today a State Historic Park.

Hebert, Sandra, "Wild at Heart: Nature and John Muir"
Cascade Crest (Newsletter of the Sierra Club Cascade Chapter) (May/June, 1991) A nicely written summation of Muir's life.

Heidig, Edward G., "Reflecting the Muir Image"
Parks and Recreation Vol. 29, no. 3, p. 40. 1994 March 03
An essay arguing that Muir was a pragmatic conservationist, not just an idealistic environmentalist, and that Muir's philospohies can be incorporated into modern environmental challenges, creating solutions that balance environmental protection with economic prosperity. The author applies this specifically to the goals and programs of the California Department of Conservation.

Holliday, J.S., "The Politics of John Muir"
Sierra Club Bulletin Vol. 57: pp. 10-13 (Oct.-Nov. 1972).
An essay about Muir as an educator and propagandist, an advocate seeing to influence public thinking and political decisions. The author points out how his "words fire the energy and the conviction of the ecologists of the 1970's... John Muir's record of fighting for our wilderness reminds us today that in our own ways, with our own voices and pens, we can each serve as a John Muir...

Holmes, Steve, "Blessed Home: Nature, Religion, Science, and Human Relationship in the Early Life of John Muir," doctoral dissertation 6/96. See American Quarterly (Vol. 48, Issue 4, p. 761.)

Huber, J. Parker, "John Muir's Menu," Sierra (Vol. 79, Issue 6, p. 66, Nov/Dec 1994.)
A light-hearted musing of our naturalist's famously spare diet while in the wilderness. With spiritual beauty bread, who needs trail mix?

Hunt, Rockwell J. California Mountain Men of Another Breed, The Historical Society of Southern California Quarterly, Vol. 34, No. 3 (September,1952), pp. 213-228. Available on Jstor.
An essay by an eminent early California historian, comparing Muir and other California mountaineeers as a new breed of "mountain man" - not trappers and explorers as their forebears in the Rockies, but climbers and explorers of the natural world to expand scientific understanding.

Leighly, John, John Muir's Image of the West in Annals of the Association of American Geographers Vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 309-318. (December 1958). Available on An early analytical study of Muir's life and writings, presented as an Address by the honorary president of the Association of American Geographers at its 54th annual meeting, Santa Monica, California, August 21, 1958.

Leshuk, Dave, "John Muir's Wisconsin Days: The Naturalist's Wisconsin roots anchored his later actions"
Wisconsin Natural Resources (Vol. 12, No. 3, May/June 1988).
Describes the importance of the Wisconsin influence on Muir's philosophy and actions, belying the common misconception of Muir as important only for Californians.

Limbaugh, Ronald H., "John Muir and Modern Environmental Education"
California History (Vol. 71, No. 2, Summer, 1992).
Thoughts on what environmental educators can learn from John Muir in a modern world fraught with environmental problems, including a description of six "rules" for environmental education, derived from the life and writings of John Muir, written by a Professor of History and the Director of the John Muir Center for Regional Studies at the University of the Pacific. .

Limbaugh, Ronald H., "John Muir and the Mining Industry," Mining History Journal 3 (1996), 61-66.

Macfarlane, Robert, "Where the wild things are," - Acclaimed British writer Robert Macfarlane salutes the brilliant nature writing of John Muir - tramp, botanist, geologist, mountaineer and visionary environmental activist, UK Guardian, October 30, 2004 .

Martin, Michelle, "Who Was John Muir?"
Hi Sierran (Newsletter of the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter) (April, 1991)
A short introduction to Muir, with an interesting black and white sketch Muir portrait.

McKibbin, Bill, "The Walk that Changed America"
Conde Nast Traveler (Vol. 30, No. 9, pg. 132. 14 pp., Photos: 17 color, 1 black and white.
A wonderful description of Muir's 1,000 mile walk to the Gulf of Mexico as it was in Muir's time and as it is today. Beautiful color photography highlights this piece, as does a poignant listing of endangered species in the region compiled from the U.S. Biological Service.

Meyer, John M., "Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, and the Boundaries of Politics in American Thought,"
Polity (Vol. 30, No. 2, Winter 1997), p. 267.

Moore, Phawnda, The Poet who saved John Muir's Home [Faire Sax]- 4 March 2022 (off-site link)

Orsi, Richard, "Wilderness Saint" and "Robber Baron: The Anomalous Partnership of John Muir and the Southern Pacific Company for the Preservation ofYosemite National Park,"
Pacific Historian (Vol. 29, (2-3): 136-56 (1985)).

Parshall, Gerald, "A Knight in the Wilderness: Sierra Club founder John Muir launched a movement a century ago" 2 pp.
U.S. News and World Report , July 20, 1992
Recognizing the Centennial of the Sierra Club, an outstanding brief article showing the importance of Muir to the modern environmental movement.

Perrottet, Tony, John Muir's Yosemite: The father of the conservation movement found his calling on a visit to the California wilderness
Smithsonian, July 2008
Evocative article describing Muir's special involvement in Yosemite, with many quotes from Muir experts like Bonnie Gisel, curator of the Sierra Club's LeConte Memorial Lodge.

Peterson, Robert, "John Muir: Protector of the Wilderness"
Boy's Life Vol. 84, (February 1, 1994) p. 28.
A short introduction, with photographs, for young readers

Scott, Phyllis, "John Muir National Historic Site,"
Travel Holiday (Vol. 179, Issue 4, P. 17, May, 1996).

Smith, Michael L., "Clarence King and John Muir: Ways of Seeing Mountains"
The Californians (March/April 1990), p. 36.
An analysis of the differing perspectives of two noted mountaineers. King had a macho style, while Muir emphasized nature's harmony and benevolence.

Smith, Michael B., "The Value of a tree: public devates of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot"
The Historian Vol. 60, no. 4, p. 757 (June 22 1998)
Scholarly article exploring the debates early in the 20th century between John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. who had differing views about US natural resources. Muir was an environmentalist who saw the wilderness as a refuge against the ills of modern society, while Pinchot regarded conservation as a means to retain the economic value of natural resources. Muir helped establish a system of national parks, while Pinchot's policies helped private interests to log public lands.

Solomons, Theodore S., "The Muir of the '90s"
The Californians (March/April 1990) p. 42.
The author of this essay was the founder of what became the John Muir Trail along the crest of the Sierra. The essay gives Solomon's first-hand account of meeting Muir in the 1890s at Sierra Club meetings and in visits to Muir's Martinez ranch.

Stanley, Millie, "John Muir in Wisconsin,"
Pacific Historian Vol. 29 (2-3): 7-15 (1985).

Steinhart, Peter, "Place as Purpose: Muir's Sierra"
Orion (Autumn 1988).
Noting that Muir set forth the terms by which we tend to think today of the Sierra Nevada, this essay explores the reasons that Muir's writing still has such influence a century after publication.

Sweet, Adolph D., "Meeting John Muir in King's Canyon"
Los Tulares, Tulare County Historical Bulletin (September, 1952) and reprinted in Valley Voice (August, 1983)
A first-hand account by a Visalia resident recounting his encounters with Muir beginning in 1890. Muir had some rather uncomplimentary things to say about the camping abilities of artist Charles Dorman Robinson and mountaineer Theodore Solomons. (Robinsonm, in turn, wrote a scathing - and hilarious - criticism of his Kings Canyon camping and painting trip with Muir in an unpublished manuscript on file in the "C.D. Robinson Collection" at the California Deparmtne of Parks and Recreation in Sacramento, "An Incident Which Befell John Muir and Myself."

Tam, David, "John Muir for Our Time"
Yodeler (Newsletter of Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter) (April, 1988)
An essay positing Muir as a "radical amateur" who was one of the first biocentrist thinker-activists, who struggled with some of the same issues - e.g., balancing family life and political activism - as activists struggle with today.

Weber, Catherine E. Forrest, "A Genius in the Best Sense: John Muir, Earth, and Indianapolis,"
Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History
(Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 36-47, Winter 1993)
A review of Muir's life, with a focus on his early inventions and his time spent in Indiana, including his friendships with Catherine Moores and her nephew Merrill Moores. An industrial accident in an Indianapolis carriage-parts factory was the pivotal event that changed Muir's life. Nicely illustrated with Muir portraits and his drawings of inventions. The issue of Traces that includes this article is available as a back issue from the Indiana Historical Society, 315 W. Ohio St., Indianapolis, IN 46202-3299; or by calling 1-800-IHS-1830.

Williams, Dennis, "John Muir and an Evangelical Vision for Western Natural Resources Management,"
Journal of the West
(Vol. 35, Issue 3, p. 53, 8 pp. 3 bw, July, 1996)

Wilson, James, "John Muir: The Father of Conservation"
The Highlander - The Magazine of Scottish Heritage (Vol. 26, No. 2, March/April, 1988) (Mailing address: P.O. Box 397, Barrington, IL 60010)
The author recounts how appreciation about Muir has grown in Scotland since the 1979 National Library of Scotland Exhibition about John Muir, and describes Muir's birthplace in Dunbar, Scotland and the story of Muir's eventful life.

Wood, Harold, "Pantheist Prophets: John Muir 1838-1914"
Pantheist Vision (Vol. 9, No. 2, April, 1988) (A special issue on John Muir.) Available from Universal Pantheist Society , P.O. Box 265, Big Pine, CA 93513.
A review of the debate among Muir scholars about whether Muir was a pantheist or retained a Christian philosophy. The author argues that the true genius of Muir's religious thought is that it is something which transcends labels and encourages an universal sense of reverence for the earth.

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