Greg's Reviews > A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir

A Passion for Nature by Donald Worster
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Feb 17, 09

bookshelves: biography, geology, history, science

I found this book to be extremely engrossing. I didn't know that John Muir was considered one of Ralph Waldo Emerson's men. The author, Donald Worster, has a good grasp on the delicate balance between appealing to the people to break out of the rat race to appreciate natural wonders and appealing to the powerful such as Theodore Roosevelt and the railroad magnate, Harriman. John Muir's life was an amazing force that helped establish national parks and monuments all over the western US. He was unafraid to wax poetic to inspire his countrymen to do the right thing. He was in the right place at the right time. It was lovely to read how the views of Darwin transformed his Calvanist views. It was heart breaking to see how the forces of "progress" stacked up against him in the failed attempt to keep Yosemites twin, the Hetch Hetchy valley, from falling under the developer's hammer. (Couldn't they have built that dam closer to SF?)

The book makes me want to do two things: read John Muir's first book "The Mountains of California" written in 1894. I also need to get to Yosemite to take in it's primordial beauty for myself.
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