Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May Classic of the Month: Letters to a Friend by John Muir

With spring finally here, Cosimo is proud to present Letters to a Friend by John Muir as our classic of the month. 

Perhaps the most important of the founders of the modern conservation movement and an immense influence on animal-rights philosophies, John Muir was a champion of the preservation of unspoiled wilderness. His studies and surveys of Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the late 19th century-and his love of their untamed beauty-led directly to federal protection of vast ranges of virgin Western lands. This collection of letters Muir wrote as a university student in the 1860s and '70s to his "spiritual mother," botanist Mrs. Ezra Carr, offer a fascinating look at the legendary naturalist as a young man. Dispatched mostly from Yosemite Valley, where he was working as a sheepherder, they reveal the shaping of the philosophies that would later dominate Muir's work. A legend of the American West and the careful guardianship of the environment––as well as the freedom the natural world represents––Muir's writings are a must read for anyone who appreciates the wild splendor of our planet.

Letters to a Friend is available in hardcover and paperback at leading online bookstores, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

About the Author:

Scottish-American naturalist, explorer, and writer JOHN MUIR (1838-1914) helped found the Sierra Club in 1892, and served as its first president. He wrote numerous articles for such publications as Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, and the New York Tribune; among his many books are The Mountains of California (1894), Our National Parks (1901), The Yosemite (1912), and Travels in Alaska (1915).

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