304 pages, illustrations
A stirring tribute to one of America's most remote and beautiful places by one of the first modern preservationists. This Penguin Classic, Muir's first book, puts a pioneering conservationist's passion for nature in high relief. With a poet's sensitivity and a naturalist's eye, Muir celebrates the Sierra Nevada, which he dedicated his life to saving, and recounts his breathtaking visits to Yosemite Valley, Kings Canyon, Sequoia Groves, and Mount Whiskey. The Mountains of California is an affecting celebration of raw nature by one of its most ardent defenders.
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John Muir (1838-1914) was born in Scotland. In 1849 he emigrated with his family to the United States, where he later enrolled in courses in chemistry, geology, and botany at the University of Wisconsin. Muir made extended journeys throughout America, observing both scientifically and enthusiastically the beauties of the wilderness. The Mountains of California, his first book, was published in 1894. He eventually settled in California, where he became an impassioned leader of the forest conservation movement. His writings include Our National Parks (1901), My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), The Yosemite (1912), Travels in Alaska (1915), A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916), and Steep Trails (1918).