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Anthologies Film and Video
Audio Historical and Literary Analyses
Biographies Internet Resources
Book Chapters Featuring John Muir The John Muir Library Series from Sierra Club Books
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Books by John Muir Music
Children's Books Periodicals and Notable Recent Articles from Periodicals
For Educators and Youth Group Leaders Photography and Gift Books
Fiction Research Tools

Note: Items shown in boldface are believed to be available for purchase at the time this bibliography was last revised. No attempt has been made to include entries from encyclopedias or similar reference works.

Biographies     [up to table of contents]

Badè, William Frederic The Life and Letters of John Muir (Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1923 & 1924, 100th anniversary edition 2022 and 2023)
This book combines elements of John Muir's unfinished autobiography with letters selected from the voluminous correspondence between Muir and his many collaborators and admirers, linked by Badè's commentary. The first-ever Muir biography, the book remains as the freshest exploration of Muir's life and legacy.
The Life and Letters of John Muir by William Frederic Badè were originally published by Houghton Mifflin in 1923 and 1924 in two volumes.
In 1996, The Mountaineers in Seattle and Baton Wicks in London published a modern edition of The Life and Letters of John Muir, edited and introduced by Terry Gifford.
In 2022 and 2023, a 100th anniversary edition was published in print, ebook, and audiobook formats by Crazy Wisdom Publishing. Volume 1 Introduction and Preface by Michael Conti and Stephen Hatch. Volume 2 Introduction by Mike Wurtz and Epilogue by Harold W. Wood, Jr.
Learn more and watch video interview introductions of 2023 centennial edition here. (off-site link)

Clarke, James Mitchell, The Life and Adventures of John Muir (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books 1980).
This modern, popularly-written biography describes Muir's life as a Boy, Wanderer, Geologist, Ecologist, Explorer, Husbandman, and Activist. Relies heavily on Muir's own accounts. Appendix A, "On Reading John Muir", gives the author's advice to read Muir in small doses, owing to Muir's writing in the idiom of his times - Victorian. Appendix B, "On Reading About John Muir", gives the author's advice on both biographical books and books on geography, conservation history, geology, botany, etc. Highly recommended.

Clayton, John, Natural Rivals: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and the Creation of America's Public Lands (New York: Pegasus Books, 276 pages, illustrations (some color), maps (some color) 2019)
In this engaging book integrating the stories of both John Muir and Gifford Pinchot, author John Clayton concludes that the approaches of these apparent natural rivals are revealed as complementary and interdependent, and their rival perspectives jointly yielded the innovative idea that some landscapes should be collectively, permanently owned by a democratic government.

Ehrlich, Gretel, John Muir: Nature's Visionary (Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2000) Illustrated, Index, 240 pp.
This is the second book National Geographic has published about John Muir, the other being the 1976 publication by Tom Melham (see annotation below). In this sumptuous edition, Gretel Ehrlich tells the story of Muir's life not as straight biography, but by showing him as an instrument of nature, as not a passive observer of the mountains but as an Emersonian eye - whole, transparent, curious, and as one whose verbal nimbleness brings forth the divine beauty of nature. Muir quotes accompany stunning modern images of the vistas Muir loved, and historical photos. An Epilogue highlights some of Muir's spiritual descendants, people like David Brower, Carla Cloer, Scott Hoffman Black, and John Olmsted who have fought to preserve wild places just as Muir did. Highly recommended. A book jacket summary of this book is available.

John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire by Kim Heacox book coverHeacox, Kim, John Muir and the Ice That Started a Fire (Lyons Press, Guilford, Connecticut, 2014); 245 pages; includes Acknowledgments, Endnote, Bibliography, Index; About the Author. Available in hardbound with dust jacket, paperback, and ebook formats.
This beautifully written book differs from virtually every other biography of Muir because it is focused on Muir's relationship with Alaska. Although somewhat chronological, this book begin not with Muir's birth or his famous campaigns for Yosemite or Hetch Hetchy, but instead with Muir's 1879 "watershed" trip to Alaska, a canoe trip with 14 native Tlingit and a Presbyterian missionary, the first of many he would make. Throughout the book, the emphasis is always on Muir's long-time fascination with Alaska and its glaciers, a theme which makes this book unique in the Muir literature. Muir admired the native Tlingit for their knowledge of and respect for the ice, sea and land. He in turn won their esteem, according to Heacox, with his fearless daring, his death-defying agility and his persuasive oratory. The Tinglits called Muir the ice-chief. But Heacox does not limit himself to Muir in Alaska; the book gives engaging coverage of Muir's entire life story, global travels, and campaigns, which are helpfully explained in the context of the popular culture of his time. His relevance to issues of today are made clear, not only in terms of wilderness preservation and national parks, but even on the issue of global climate change, as Heacox notes that Muir "may have been the first naturalist to ascribe glacial retreat to global warming." Muir Glacier, named for the explorer after his first visits (beginning in 1879) to what is now Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, terminates 35 miles farther north than it did in Muir's time. The epilogue brings Muir's story directly into the present, as may be seen by the dozens of cruise ships which follow the same sea-routes of Muir's canoe voyages. The modern cruise ship tourism industry in Alaska, with hundreds of thousand visitors a year, had its birth as a result of Muir's eloquent writings. Using the cruise ship visitors as metaphor, the Epilogue artfully expresses Muir's legacy into the 21st century and the issues presented by climate change and its perils. A book jacket summary of this book is available.

Emanuels, George, John Muir, Inventor (Fresno: Panorama West Books, 1984). Illustrated, 88 pp.
This little book fills a previously unmet need in telling the story of John Muir's outstanding mechanical talent. Here's a fascinating look at Muir's marvelous inventions: a supersensitive thermometer, clocks, an automatic study desk, the famous "early rising machine," and the self-setting sawmill. Important for the insight it gives on the factory accident which gave the world one of its most celebrated conservationists. Includes a collection of Muir's letters from California about the inventions.

Jones, Holway R., John Muir and the Sierra Club: The Battle for Yosemite (San Francisco: Sierra Club 1965). Photos.
This book chronicles the early battles of the Sierra Club, led by their President, John Muir, to save Yosemite and Hetch Hetchy Valley from despoilers. A book jacket summary of this book is available.

Melham, Tom, and Grehan, Farrell, John Muir's Wild America (Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society 1976).
Splendid National Geographic color photography of the paths Muir followed from Scotland, Wisconsin, Canada, Appalachians, Florida, California, Washington, and Alaska. A beautiful book suitable for all ages. Highly recommended.

John Muir: Magnificent Tramp by Rod Miller Miller, Rod, John Muir : Magnificent Tramp (American Heroes) (New York: Forge Books, 2005) hardcover or paperback, 208 pp.
This new book provides an accessible portrait of John Muir in a series of short chapters. Rather than a pure chronological rendering, the book is organized by themes, juxtaposing Muir's experiences and ideas from different time periods to focus on a common topic. Easy to read, almost conversational in style; suitable for teens and adults.

Noriyushi, Kato, Mori no seija: Shezenhogo no chichi John Muir [A Saint in the Forest: the Father of Nature Protection - John Muir] (Tokyo: Yama-to-keikohusha, 1995) 279 pp. ¥1600
A modern introduction to John Muir, in Japanese, for the Japanese audience.

Sargent, Shirley, John Muir in Yosemite (Yosemite: Flying Spur Press 1971).
Outstanding booklet, filled with historic photographs, detailing the significant role of John Muir in exploring, describing, and studying the glacial origin of Yosemite, and efforts leading to its protection. Highly recommended.

Wilkins, Thurman, John Muir: Apostle of Nature (Norman, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1995). Volume 8 in the Oklahoma Western Biographies. Black and white photos; Bibliographic Notes; Index. 302 pp.
A very readable new biography of John Muir. Takes a straight forward chronological approach. Although published by an University press, this is not an academic, footnoted tome, but an entertaining and easy-to-read biography. Recommended introduction to Muir's life and importance. A press release about this book is available.

Wolfe, Linnie Marsh, Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (Madison: Univ. of Wisconsin Press 1978). (Originally published: 1945 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc).
This Pulitzer Prize winning original biography remains perhaps the most readable, thorough, and enjoyable book on the life of John Muir. Highly recommended. A book jacket summary of this book is available.

Worster, Donald, A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) $34.95, 535 pages, illustrated with 30 halftones & 5 maps, 6-1/8 x 9-1/4, ISBN: 978-0-19-516682-8)
The publisher claims this is "the most comprehensive biography of America’greatest conservationist ever written."
Written by America's foremost environmental historian, this conclusion will be hard to argue with. It is the first modern biography to fully use Muir's private correspondence.
A press release about this book is available.
A book jacket summary of this book is available.
Book reviews of this book are available.
When Writing About John Muir, I Had to See What He Saw By Donald Worster (Off-site link)
On John Muir's Trail by Donald Worster. Presented to University of California, San Diego, April 23, 2018

Young, S. Hall, Alaska Days with John Muir (Ayer Co. Pubs. Originally Published 1915, new edition 1981). Reprinted in Gifford, Terry, (Editor) John Muir: His Life and Letters and Other Writings. (Seattle: Mountaineers Books, and London: Baton Wicks, 1996).
A first-hand account of Muir's discovery of Glacier Bay and other places in Alaska with the author. Muir never wrote about his heroic rescue of Young on Mt. Glenora in Alaska, but here Young tells it all! A book jacket summary of this book is available.
Complete book:
Alaska Days with John Muir by S. Hall Young (1915) - available in various digital formats from

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