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A Passion for Nature by Donald Worster Book Cover

A Passion for Nature :

The Life of John Muir

by Donald Worster

( from the publisher's press release; October 16, 2008 )

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir
by Donald Worster
New York: Oxford University Press

Contact: Betsy DeJesu, Publicity Manager

See also:

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


Oxford proudly presents the most comprehensive biography of America’s greatest conservationist ever written

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster
(Oxford | October 16, 2008 | $34.95 | 535 pages | 30 halftones & 5 maps | 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 |
ISBN: 978-0-19-516682-8)

“As far as the American environment is concerned, few figures have wielded more influence than John Muir. How appropriate, then, that one of America’s most noted environmental historians, Donald Worster, should now present John Muir in all his complexity and achievement in this authoritative and lively biography.” —KEVIN STARR, University of Southern California

John Muir was a man. This simple statement may seem banal, however, this one man had humble beginnings and a “regular” life: a family, and work, and an unreserved respect for the natural world. Mere mention of his name invokes a literal and figurative legacy that has branched out to nearly all areas of our society. As the father of environmentalism, he is an icon; to young men and women of a certain mind, his is an idol; even to those who know only his name and not his many great pursuits he holds the reputation of genius. John Muir was not just a man; he was a major catalyst in a heroic and vital movement.

Donald Worster has written the first comprehensive biography of Muir’s life in nearly sixty years, A PASSION FOR NATURE: The Life of John Muir. Based on Muir’s full private correspondence, Worster delves into the life of a struggling writer, a self-made man, a world traveler, a father and husband, a scientist, great thinker, a champion for natural wonders like Yosemite, and the founder of the Sierra club, in a textured and wholly complete look at his brilliant and often solitary life.

Drawing on his own great expertise in the emerging field of environmental history (the changing perception of nature, the rise of conservation and environmentalism), Worster retraced Muir’s footsteps as his research for this book took him to the very same places that the great man himself tread upon – Scotland, Finland, the fishing village of Cedar Key in Florida, a cemetery in Savannah, Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska, and New Zealand.

Muir’s inspiration has left an indelible mark on the landscape of the United States and the minds of all who wish to see its beauty preserved in the face of constant jeopardy. Donald Worster's biography offers a wealth of insight into the passionate nature of a man whose passion for nature remains unsurpassed.

About the author:

Donald Worster is Hall Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of Kansas. His books include The Wealth of Nature, Under Western Skies, and the Bancroft Prize-winning Dust Bowl. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

**Donald Worster is available for interviews. To schedule an interview or for review copies, please contact: Betsy DeJesu, Publicity Manager | 212/726-6111 |

A PASSION FOR NATURE: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster will be published by Oxford on October 16, 2008 ($34.95 | 535 pages | ISBN: 978-0-19-5

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