A Passion for Nature by Donald Worster
The Life of John Muir

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Synopsis

"I am hopelessly and forever a mountaineer," John Muir wrote. "Civilization and fever and all the morbidness that has been hooted at me has not dimmed my glacial eye, and I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. My own special self is nothing."
In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is fully explored as is his extraordinary ability, then and now, to get others to see the sacred beauty of the natural world. A Passion for Nature is the most complete account of the great conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club ever written. It is the first to be based on Muir's full private correspondence and to meet modern scholarly standards. Yet it is also full of rich detail and personal anecdote, uncovering the complex inner life behind the legend of the solitary mountain man. It traces Muir from his boyhood in Scotland and frontier Wisconsin to his adult life in California right after the Civil War up to his death on the eve of World War I. It explores his marriage and family life, his relationship with his abusive father, his many friendships with the humble and famous (including Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and his role in founding the modern American conservation movement. Inspired by Muir's passion for the wilderness, Americans created a long and stunning list of national parks and wilderness areas, Yosemite most prominent among them. Yet the book also describes a Muir who was a successful fruit-grower, a talented scientist and world-traveler, a doting father and husband, a self-made man of wealth and political influence. A man for whom mountaineering was "a pathway to revelation and worship."
For anyone wishing to more fully understand America's first great environmentalist, and the enormous influence he still exerts today, Donald Worster's biography offers a wealth of insight into the passionate nature of a man whose passion for nature remains unsurpassed.
 

About Donald Worster

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Donald Worster is Hall Distinguished Professor of American History, University of Kansas and the author of many books, including A River Running West (OUP 2000); The Wealth of Nature: Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination (OUP 1993); and Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West (OUP 1993),
 
Published September 21, 2008 by Oxford University Press, USA. 544 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Passion for Nature

Publishers Weekly

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Environmental writer and professor Worster (Dust Bowl, Nature's Economy) presents the inspiring story of John Muir, who rebelled against orthodoxy and became one of the founders of modern environmenta

Oct 20 2008 | Read Full Review of A Passion for Nature: The Lif...

The New York Times

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A life of the great conservationist John Muir.

Feb 01 2009 | Read Full Review of A Passion for Nature: The Lif...

The New York Times

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A life of the great conservationist John Muir.

Feb 01 2009 | Read Full Review of A Passion for Nature: The Lif...

The Guardian

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If the Muir legend does not shine as brightly in the land of his birth, there is an eco-group called the John Muir Trust, and Dunbar is home to a John Muir Museum and the John Muir Association.

Jan 09 2009 | Read Full Review of A Passion for Nature: The Lif...

The Independent

Muir found his own redemption in the wilderness landscape, becoming one of the founders of the nature conservation movement, and a household name equal to Emerson and Thoreau in the 19th-century pantheon of American Transcendentalism and nature-worship.

Jan 23 2009 | Read Full Review of A Passion for Nature: The Lif...

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Feb 12 2009 | Read Full Review of A Passion for Nature: The Lif...

Daily Kos

- John Ralston Saul -.

Sep 28 2009 | Read Full Review of A Passion for Nature: The Lif...

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