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The Wilderness World of John Muir

by John Muir
Edwin Way Teale, editor

The Wilderness World of John Muir edited by Edwin Way Teale - Mariner Books Edition

The Wilderness World of John Muir
Edited by Edwin Way Teale

Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin
352 pages, 8.1 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
ISBN: 0618127518
Release Date:
August 20, 2001

Publisher's Press Release


"No one can read this Muir anthology without becoming conscious of a quickening revelation of new aspects of the world's old beauty." — New York Times

"Reading that is often magnificent, thrilling, exciting, breathtaking, and awe-inspiring." — Kirkus Reviews

"This admiringly edited volume is especially welcome . . . Here is a substantial selection including many of his greatest passages." — The Nation


Travel in any part of the great American wilderness, and you are sure to come across the name of John Muir, whether pitching your tent at Camp Muir in Washington's Mount Rainier National Park, fishing in Muir Lake in Wisconsin, or hiking the John Muir Trail in the Sierras. California's national parks often boast the name Muir, from Muir Gorge in Yosemite to Muir Grave and Muir Crest in the Sequoia National Park.

What made John Muir so popular? Was it his work as one of the most noted conservationists in American history? His influence in convincing President Theodore Roosevelt to establish a national park system? His discovery of Alaska's Glacial Bay, as well as new species of plants and insects? His explanation of how glacial activity shaped the Yosemite Valley? His role as founder and president of the Sierra Club from 1892 until his death in 1914?

Undoubtedly, Muir's influence in ecology and conservation has been as far-reaching as his love of the outdoors, which was, for him "at once a laboratory for research and a temple for worship." Muir let very little interfere with his desire to spend time in nature. He wrote, "I have not yet in all my wanderings found a single person so free as myself. When in the woods I sit at times for hours watching birds or squirrels or looking down into the faces of flowers without suffering any feeling of haste." Indeed, he did not allow haste to diminish his enjoyment in studying and exploring his environment.

The Wilderness World of John Muir is a collection of Muir's best writings, covering the impressions he gained through years of travel and research. Beginning with his life as a child in Scotland, his essays cover his boyhood in the Wisconsin woods, his friendship with the aging Ralph Waldo Emerson in Yosemite, and his exploration of the icy regions of Alaska. Rich in detail, these writings describe not only the events that shaped him but also his philosophies.

During his life, Muir traveled through most of the American wilderness, without an overcoat, a blanket, or a gun. In his journal, he once wrote, "I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in." The Wilderness World of John Muir is an invitation to "go in" with John Muir, so that you too will want to stay until sundown.

About the Author

John Muir (1838–1914) was one of the most influential conservationists and nature writers in American history.

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