The Story of My Boyhood and Youth
DescriptionA fascinating autobiography of John Muir (1838-1914)-founder and first president of the Sierra Club, America's oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Muir is renowned to the present-day as one of the most famous American naturalists, authors, amateur inventors, and early advocates of preservation of wilderness in the United States, and as late as 1988, was honored with the state of California's first ever official California commemorative day-John Muir Day on April 21 each year. This engrossing and highly personal work tells of his early years in his native Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland, his stern Scottish religious upbringing, and his first forays into the study of nature-and then the 1849 announcement by his father with one day's notice that the family was emigrating to America. Having been transplanted to the New World at the age of eleven, Muir describes how he helped his family create a new life from raw bush in Wisconsin. When not working as a farm laborer, he self-educated himself and took to inventing all manner of clock and calendar-based devices, for which he quickly won great renown throughout the state. At the same time, his interest in the natural world-already stirred while still in Scotland-began to take serious form. At the age of 22, without ever having completed formal schooling, Muir enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, paying his own way for several years and studying botany and chemistry. As he describes in this book, he never actually graduated, but learned all that he wanted to while at college, and then moved on to what he called the "university of the wilderness"-where this volume ends. This edition has been fully reset and contains all the original illustrations from sketches by the author. Front cover image: John Muir against the backdrop of Mount Muir in the Sierra Nevada of California, named in his honor.
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About the Author
John Muir (1838-1914) was a naturalist, author, environmental activist, and one of the earliest advocates for the preservation and protection of wilderness lands in the United States. Thanks to Muir's relentless activism, some of California's most beloved national parks have been protected and maintained throughout the years, including Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park, and much of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Muir also founded the Sierra Club in 1892, an influential environmental organization still in existence today. A prolific writer, Muir used his talents of rhetorical persuasion to help enact other key legislation that was integral to the preservation of natural resources throughout our land.