Nature Writings

Three books in one. “The Story of My Boyhood and Youth” recounts John Muir’s Scottish origins and his deep connection to nature. Following is “My First Summer in the Sierra,” an evocative recounting of the impressions made on him when he first encountered these majestic mountains.



In a lifetime of exploration, writing, and passionate political activism, John Muir became America’s most eloquent spokesman for the mystery and majesty of the wilderness. A crucial figure in the creation of our national parks’ system and a prophet of environmental awareness, he founded the Sierra Club in 1892. He was also a master of natural description who evoked with unique power and intimacy the untrammeled landscapes of the American West.

In this hardback edition, The Library of America’s Nature Writings collects his most significant and best-loved works in a single volume, including: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913), My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), The Mountains of California (1894) and Stickeen (1909). Rounding out the volume is a rich selection of essays. These include “Yosemite Glaciers,” “God’s First Temples,” “Snow-Storm on Mount Shasta,” “The American Forests,” and his late appeal to “Save the Redwoods.” The book highlights various aspects of his career: his exploration of the Grand Canyon and of what became Yosemite and Yellowstone national parks, his successful crusades to preserve the wilderness, his early walking tour to Florida, and his Alaska journey of 1879.

Though we’re not the publishers, we believe it’s worth considering how the earth appear in John Muir’s day and how climate change might alter some of these beloved Western landscapes.