By Donald Worster

ISBN-10: 0195166825

ISBN-13: 9780195166828

In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is absolutely explored as is his remarkable skill, then and now, to get others to work out the sacred great thing about the flora and fauna. a fondness for Nature is the main whole account of the good conservationist and founding father of the Sierra membership ever written. it's the first to be in accordance with Muir's complete deepest correspondence and to fulfill smooth scholarly criteria. but it's also jam-packed with wealthy aspect and private anecdote, uncovering the complicated internal existence at the back of the legend of the solitary mountain guy. It strains Muir from his boyhood in Scotland and frontier Wisconsin to his grownup existence in California correct after the Civil struggle as much as his loss of life at the eve of worldwide conflict I. It explores his marriage and kinfolk lifestyles, his dating together with his abusive father, his many friendships with the common-or-garden and well-known (including Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and his function in founding the fashionable American conservation circulate. encouraged through Muir's ardour for the wasteland, american citizens created an extended and wonderful record of nationwide parks and barren region components, Yosemite such a lot widespread between them. but the e-book additionally describes a Muir who used to be a winning fruit-grower, a skilled scientist and world-traveler, a doting father and husband, a self-made guy of wealth and political effect. a guy for whom climbing was once "a pathway to revelation and worship."

For a person wishing to extra totally comprehend America's first nice environmentalist, and the large effect he nonetheless exerts this present day, Donald Worster's biography bargains a wealth of perception into the passionate nature of a guy whose ardour for nature continues to be unsurpassed.

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Example text

And since we perceive that the mind is healed like the sick body, and we see that it can be altered by medicine, this too gives warning that the mind has a mortal existence. For it is natural that whosoever essays and attempts to change the mind or seeks to alter any other nature you like, should add new parts or change the arrangement of the present, or withdraw in short some tittle from the sum. But that which is immortal wills not to have its parts transposed nor any addition to be made nor one tittle to ebb away; for whenever a thing changes and quits its proper limits, this change is at once the death of that which was before.

For this nature lurks secreted in its inmost depths, and nothing in our body is farther beneath all ken than it, and more than this it is the very soul of the whole soul. htm (4 of 16) [10/7/2007 9:44:53 PM] Book 3 whole soul, and reigns supreme in the whole body. On a like principle the spirit and air and heat must, as they exert their powers, be mixed up together through the frame, and one must ever be more out of view or more prominent than another, that a single substance may be seen to be formed from the union of all, lest the heat and spirit apart by themselves and the power of the air apart by itself should destroy sense and dissipate it by their disunion.

Again in diseases of the body the mind often wanders and goes astray; for it loses its reason and drivels in its speech and often in a profound lethargy is carried into deep and never-ending sleep with drooping eyes and head; out of which it neither hears the voices nor can recognise the faces of those who stand round calling it back to life and bedewing with tears face and cheeks. Therefore you must admit that the mind too dissolves, since the infection of disease reaches to it; for pain and disease are both forgers of death: a truth we have fully learned ere now by the death of many.

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


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