Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Travels in Alaska by John Muir

Travels in Alaska (1915)

by John Muir

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
364729,815 (3.99)15



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Very readable first person account of travel in Alaska 1879-1890, including comprehensive exploration of Glacier Bay. Muir's ability to endure the hardships of the environment, to the point of insouciance, is remarkable. His delight at the wonder of this magnificent natural setting shines through. Includes description of his encounters with the local native population. ( )
  DramMan | Apr 15, 2014 |
For readers who enjoy reading in the genre of natural history and travel, John Muir is a classic. Muir was a pioneer in traveling the vast expanse of wild nature on the North American continent and write about it, and through his love and religious adoration of nature, he was also one of the first to take the initiative to try to protect nature, and encourage the government to create national parks and reserves.

John Muir had a life-long interest in the rugged wilderness of Alaska, with its large forests and huge glaciers. Through endless observation, Muir discovered and reconstructed many facts about glaciers, then unknown or ill-understood, such as the idea that glaciers once covered a much larger part of the world and helped create the North-American landscape.

Muir's travels were made in the true spirit of exploration, and he was a very couragious adventurer, often exposing himself to risks other travellers would faint dare. His aversion of tackle and equipment, and his preference for the simplest mode of travel, often without much more than a knapsack and a crust of bread, foraging edible fruit and wild-life, enabled him to reach areas other explorers would not go.

Travels in Alaska bring together the reports on three trips John Muir made to Alaska, in 1879, 1880, and a decade later in 1890. Muir who made a living of his travel writing, always carried a note-book, but notes were not as detailed as a diary. His writings, based on the note-books and his memory are written in a fresh and engaging style, making the reader an immediate witness of the spectacle and event. Only, Muir's last trip to Alaska, which disappointed him as, even then, erosion and destruction of the landscape took its visible toll, is much shorter, and was written on and off for many years, a large part in the final year of his life.

So, especially, Muir's description of the first two trips, in 1879 and the following year, 1880, are brimming with his enthusiasm for the wild in the north.

Muir's writing style is always easy to follow. Most plants and trees are described using their English names, and only for some rarer species of herbs and mosses are sometimes Latin names introduced, but sparsely. Muir's language is poetic, but never baroque, making his descriptions as rich and pure as the phenomena he observed. There are some moments of real excitement, as, for instance his encounters with bears.

In all three reports about Alaska, Muir writes about the tribes of Native Americans he met on his travels, describing their culture and customs, making Travels in Alaska also of special interest to anthropologists and readers with an interest in the Native American Indians.

Muir's reports not only describe how civilization encroached upon these last remnants of the wilderness, but also how they corrupted and changed the lifestyle of the Native Americans in those parts. ( )
3 vote edwinbcn | Jul 1, 2013 |
Un de ses meilleurs, nous fait partager avec lui cette grande nature sauvage ( )
  richardsaulnier | Jun 25, 2013 |
have heard about John Muir all my life but have never read anything by him before this year. What a loss. I can't imagine anyone reading him and not catching some of his enthusiasm for the natural world that drips from every page.
He goes into a great deal of detail about plants and glaciers and waterfalls and ice and rivers and trees and rocks and anything else, but for all that detail I couldn't help but want to read more. He tells his story with such vibrance and exhuberance I was just drawn on and on. I have several more free kindle books of his to read and his first about the Sierra Nevada that is a real book and I can't wait to get to all of them.

I highly recommend reading him. ( )
  eddiemerkel | May 19, 2011 |
  gighascot | Mar 4, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Muirprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hoagland, EdwardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wallace, David RainsForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395901480, Paperback)

Take a trip to last century's Alaska through Muir's clean, easy-going, enthusiastic prose. He wrote the way he took pictures, with insight, attention, care and genuine feeling. It's a lovely look into a beautiful land and its inhabitants the way it used to be, told in a flowing narrative that is far less rushed than contemporary travel tales.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:35 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

John Muir first saw Alaska in 1879, only twelve years after it was purchased from Russia by the United States. Four more times, in 1880, 1881, 1890, and 1899, he was drawn back to this land of rivers and glaciers, sunsets and northern lights, campfires and Arctic stars. Few people have lived so many adventures, yet Muir was not a mere collector of adventure; the hazards he encountered - and many were spine-tingling - came as a result of his intense desire to examine new aspects of the natural world.… (more)

Legacy Library: John Muir

John Muir has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See John Muir's legacy profile.

See John Muir's author page.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.99)
2 2
3 4
3.5 3
4 17
5 9


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 118,528,935 books! | Top bar: Always visible