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

By Donald Worster

In Donald Worster's magisterial biography, John Muir's "special self" is totally explored as is his awesome skill, then and now, to get others to determine the sacred great thing about the wildlife. 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 line with Muir's complete deepest correspondence and to fulfill smooth scholarly criteria. but it's also packed with wealthy element and private anecdote, uncovering the advanced internal lifestyles 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 lifestyles in California correct after the Civil conflict as much as his dying at the eve of worldwide conflict I. It explores his marriage and family members existence, his courting along with his abusive father, his many friendships with the standard and well-known (including Theodore Roosevelt and Ralph Waldo Emerson), and his position in founding the trendy American conservation circulation. encouraged by means of Muir's ardour for the barren region, americans created an extended and beautiful record of nationwide parks and wasteland components, Yosemite so much well known between them. but the publication additionally describes a Muir who was once 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 mountain climbing used to be "a pathway to revelation and worship."

For an individual wishing to extra totally comprehend America's first nice environmentalist, and the large impact 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 is still unsurpassed.

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Marché also describes how the spiritual nature of astronomy inspired early philanthropic sponsorship of planetaria. The book is a well written, thorough and enjoyable tribute to planetaria. It demonstrates their importance in encouraging interest in space science, providing communication between astronomers and the public, and promoting scientific literacy. It would be interesting to know how many astronomers can trace the inspiration that sparked their career to a planetarium visit. ■ Shawn Cruzen is director of the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, Columbus State University, Columbus, Georgia 31901, USA.

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