John James Audubon by Richard Rhodes
The Making of an American

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Synopsis

John James Audubon came to America as a dapper eighteen-year-old eager to make his fortune. He had a talent for drawing and an interest in birds, and he would spend the next thirty-five years traveling to the remotest regions of his new country–often alone and on foot–to render his avian subjects on paper. The works of art he created gave the world its idea of America. They gave America its idea of itself.

Here Richard Rhodes vividly depicts Audubon’s life and career: his epic wanderings; his quest to portray birds in a lifelike way; his long, anguished separations from his adored wife; his ambivalent witness to the vanishing of the wilderness. John James Audubon: The Making of an American is a magnificent achievement.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Richard Rhodes

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Richard Rhodes is the author of twenty books, including novels and works of history, journalism and letters. His The Making of the Atomic Bomb won a Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award. Dark Sun, about the development of the hydrogen bomb, was one of three finalists for a Pulitzer Prize in History. A Kansas native, he has frequently explored American history and biography in articles for national magazines. He lives in Half Moon Bay, California.
 
Published October 5, 2004 by Vintage. 528 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors, Arts & Photography, Computers & Technology. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for John James Audubon

Kirkus Reviews

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his beak of a nose most certifiably French.” He was charged with tending to his father’s business interests, but, Rhodes writes, he had little talent for the work—and besides, he wanted nothing more than “to complete a collection [of ornithological illustrations] not only valuable to the scientif...

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The New York Times

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ohn James Audubon's birds of America were beautiful and mesmerizing.

Oct 11 2004 | Read Full Review of John James Audubon: The Makin...

The New York Times

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There have already been two fine studies of Audubon published this year -- William Souder's ''Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of 'The Birds of America' '' and Duff Hart-Davis's ''Audubon's Elephant: America's Greatest Naturalist and the Making of 'The Birds of America.' '' The...

Oct 31 2004 | Read Full Review of John James Audubon: The Makin...

Entertainment Weekly

Richard Rhodes, the Pulitzer-winning author of 1986's The Making of the Atomic Bomb, understands the drama of creation — the subtitle of this splendid biography is ''The Making of an American.'' Indeed, John James Audubon might be considered a prototypical modern American.

Oct 15 2004 | Read Full Review of John James Audubon: The Makin...

Suite 101

We know Audubon from his many old-fashioned prints of birds, but this book gives us the man behind the art, his times, and as Richard Rhodes' subtitle suggests, how Audubon became the epitome of the optimistic, energetic, adventurous, self-made American.

Dec 13 2010 | Read Full Review of John James Audubon: The Makin...

Bookmarks Magazine

Richard Rhodes (1986): Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Oct 10 2007 | Read Full Review of John James Audubon: The Makin...

There are myriad Audubon biographies (th

Sep 01 2013 | Read Full Review of John James Audubon: The Makin...

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