Essential Muir

An introduction to the great “poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist”

Preservationist. Inventor. Lobbyist. John Muir was many things at once, and he is California’s best-known icon-so much so that his image was chosen to appear on the new state quarter. But the best way to know the man who founded the Sierra Club and helped create Yosemite National Park is to read his own words.

Essential Muir is the second volume in the California Legacy Essentials Collection. Taking the best of John Muir’s writings on nature—in which he waxes ecstatic even as he accurately describes the scientific attributes of a flower-as well as his thoughts on religion and society, this book presents a fresh look at one of California’s greatest literary figures. His love for nature was so powerful—and his description of it so compelling—it still inspires us a century later.

About the Author and Editor

John Muir (1838–1914) was a naturalist, author, and advocate for wilderness preservation. A prolific writer, his many books, essays, and letters abound with wit, humor, and an exuberant love of the natural world.
Fred WhiteFred White is an associate professor of composition and he directed the writing program at Santa Clara University from 2003 to 2005. His books include The Well-Crafted Argument (with Simone Billings), Lifewriting, Communicating Technology, Science and the Human Spirit, and The Writer’s Art.