John Burroughs (1837-1921) emerged from an obscure boyhood in the Catskill Mountains to write more than thirty books, create the genre of the nature essay, and become the preeminent nature writer of his day. In this critically-acclaimed biography, Edward J. Renehan, Jr. draws on a wealth of previously unpublished manuscripts, journals and letters to portray the man Henry JJohn Burroughs (1837-1921) emerged from an obscure boyhood in the Catskill Mountains to write more than thirty books, create the genre of the nature essay, and become the preeminent nature writer of his day. In this critically-acclaimed biography, Edward J. Renehan, Jr. draws on a wealth of previously unpublished manuscripts, journals and letters to portray the man Henry James called "a more humorous, more available and more sociable Thoreau." In the process, Renehan reveals Burroughs's complex and enduring relationships with such notables as Jay Gould, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Edison, John Muir, Walt Whitman, Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Ford....
|Title||:||John Burroughs: An American Naturalist|
|Number of Pages||:||358 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
John Burroughs: An American Naturalist Reviews
Born in Catskills to farmers. Neighbor was Jay Gould. Father didn't believe in Christmas gifts. JB hung up a stocking and awoke to find a piece of horse manure in it. Later chided wife & son when they wanted to celebrate School teacher in Catskill & Ulster (High Falls)Married Ursula, who thought he wanted too much sex (she left him for a few months so he can learn the chaste life). Gould & JB watched a man die to see if they could see the spirit depart. JB stayed only a few minutes.Very interested in birds. In young days he would shoot birds, including the last wild passenger pigeon he would ever see. Began keeping nature journals.Often hiked to get away from domestic chores and henpecking; the woods were for men...In Washington during war. Aided Whitman with wounded soldiers. Advocate hiking and birdwatching - healthy, inexpensive & intriguing. Fathered a son JULIAN by Irish maid, who was sent back home. Built house in Riverby (West Park) with Slabsides behind it. Grew orchard, then vinyards.Influenced by Emerson, friend to Whitman. In later years friend to wealthy men (Harriman, Ford, Rosevelt, etc.) When Whitman died he wrote many books/articles on him.Vice president of NY Audoban society.On hunting trips with Rosevelt.Famous for Nature essays - many schools named after him. Lots of correspondence from people.Wanted wilderness more as a garden than a wilderness (as opposed to Muir). Thought the west was ugly (barren mountains, Yellowstone steam) - but later railed aginast rqvages of earth, industrializatrion, etc.On cars: "A man may live now & travel without hardly coming in contact with the earth or air. He can go around the world in a parlor."On streams: "You cannot have the same kind of attachment and sympathy with a great river. It does not flow through your affections like a lesser stream."On stuffed animals: "A bird shot and stuffed and botanized is no bird at all... Do not go to museums to find Nature. Do not rely on schoolbooks... Nature is nothing at all when it is twice removed. It is only real when you reach out and touch it with your own hands. " On exercise: "It is good to work up a sweat at least once every day and sustain it for at least an hour."Thought people found religion becuase they were disatisfied with the world. He found joy in Nature.EMERSON believed one shold study Nature to know one's self. HENERY FORD was born in farm. In later years he brought family out to land to harvest hayfields outside of Detroit. "I seldom go into a natural history museum without feeling as if I were attending a funeral.""A man in the woods with a gun in his hand, is no longer a man, -- he is a brtue." I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. The secret of happiness is something to do.
This book is very interesting and well written. I read this book because I wanted to learn something about the mercurial "naturalist," John Burroughs. Who was he, and how was it that he became chummy with the rich and famous, like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone (his camping buddies)? Still, why isn't he as famous as his fellow naturalist and contemporary, John Muir? It turns out that Burroughs was more of a literary figure than an environmental activist, which John Muir was. Burroughs saw himself as a great writer, in the tradition of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman, rather than as an environmentalist. He was actually a nature lover, and not a "naturalist," in the scientific sense. He was also willing to turn a blind eye to environmental misdeeds of his wealthy businessmen friends. For example, he was critical of what cars were doing to nature, until Ford sent him a free car. Then he had nothing more to say on the issue of cars and the environment. He was no scientist, even boasting that be had little interest in the scientific aspects of nature. Although others may have different opinions, I found Burroughs, the man, to be a rather shallow, but not uninteresting, person. The book provides excellent insight to the mindset of people of the era (1900-1920) regarding nature, and man's place within nature.
An excellent biography of one of the world's greatest nature writers and philosophers. He was an nature guru to many of the late 19th and early 20th century power brokers yet always made time to personally answer letter which came from students. A revealing portrait of a sometime very conflicted man who found peace and fulfillment when he was in the woods.
I learned that Walt Whitman was a racist.
Renehan is a great biographer who gets the facts straight and tells a damn good story.
I totally loved this book. This guy was fascinating.