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All who have admired John Muir’s ruggedly individualistic lifestyle, or who desire a greater appreciation of the history of environmental preservation in America, will be enthralled and enlightened by this Pulitzer Prize–winning biography. Following Muir from his ancestral home in Scotland, through his early years in the harsh Wisconsin wilderness, to his historic pilgrimage to California, Linnie Marsh Wolfe creates a full and rounded portrait of her subject—not only as America’s firebrand conservationist and founder of the national park system but as a committed husband, father, and friend.
Muir was a multifaceted character, shaped as much by his stern and liberty-loving Scottish heritage as by his love of all things wild and free. His battles against the encroachment of civilization were actually born of his love for it, for he was one of the few to realize that the destruction of the wilderness would diminish man himself.
This book, originally published in 1945 and based in large part on Wolfe’s personal interviews with people who knew and worked with Muir, is one that could never be written again. It is, and will remain, the standard Muir biography.