Periodicals and Notable Recent Articles from Periodicals
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"
The newsletter of the
John Muir Memorial Association
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,
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,
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.
"The Wildflowers of Mr. Muir."
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.
"John Muir's Wild America"
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 Predude: Muir and LeConte in the South"
Sierra Club Bulletin
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.
Downing, Kevin J., "John Muir: Saving Yosemite"
v. 126: no. 13, p. 15.
1994 April 15.
An overview of John Muir and his eforts 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
American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Feb., 1978), pp. 19-31.
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
pp. 4-5, 18-23, 26, 31.
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"
(Newsletter of the Sierra Club Cascade Chapter)
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
(Vol. 48, Issue 4, p. 761.)
Huber, J. Parker, "John
(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?
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"
(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
University of the Pacific.
Limbaugh, Ronald H., "John Muir and the Mining Industry,"
Mining History Journal 3 (1996), 61-66.
Martin, Michelle, "Who Was John Muir?"
(Newsletter of the Sierra Club San Diego Chapter)
A short introduction to Muir, with an interesting black and white sketch Muir
"The Walk that Changed America"
Conde Nast Traveler
(Vol. 30, No. 9, pg. 132. 14 pp., Photos: 17 color, 1 black and
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,"
(Vol. 30, No. 2, Winter 1997), p. 267.
"Wilderness Saint" and "Robber Baron: The Anomalous Partnership of John Muir and
the Southern Pacific Company for the Preservation ofYosemite National Park,"
(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"
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.
"John Muir: Protector of the Wilderness"
Vol. 84, (February 1, 1994) p. 28.
A short introduction, with photographs, for young readers
Scott, Phyllis, "John Muir National Historic Site,"
(Vol. 179, Issue 4, P. 17, May, 1996).
Smith, Michael L.,
"Clarence King and John Muir: Ways of Seeing Mountains"
(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"
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
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"
(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.
"John Muir in Wisconsin,"
Vol. 29 (2-3): 7-15 (1985).
"Place as Purpose: Muir's Sierra"
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
and reprinted in
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. (Robinson wrote a scathing - and hilarious - criticism of his Kings
Canyon camping and painting trip with Muir in an unpublished manuscript on file at the Bancroft
Library, "An Incident Which Befell John Muir and Myself." The text is
available in audio form in the John Muir in Historical Perspective Tapes, 1996,
Tape #8 (See Audio).)
"John Muir for Our Time"
(Newsletter of Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter)
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
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
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,
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"
(Vol. 9, No. 2, April, 1988) (A special issue on John Muir.) Available from
, 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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