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John Muir

by Lawrence Clark Powell


No man was more influential than John Muir in preserving the Sierra's integrity. If I were to choose a single Californian to occupy the Hall of Fame, it would be this tenacious Scot who became a Californian during the final forty-six years of his life. It was John Muir whose knowledge wedded to zeal led men and governments to establish the National Park Service. Yosemite and Sequoia in California, the Petrified forest and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, and the glacier wilderness of Alaska are what they are today largely because of this one man, in whom learning and love were co-equal. More than any other, he was the answer to that call which appears on the Courts Building in Sacramento: Give me men to match my mountains.

Excerpted from California Classics: The Creative Literature of the Golden State: Essays on the Books and Their Writers by Lawrence Clark Powell (Santa Barbara, Capra Press, 1971), ch. 12: "John Muir: The Mountains of California."


About the Author

Lawrence Clark Powell (1906 - 2001) was a nationally recognized librarian and author. Powell is considered one of the outstanding librarians of the 20th century. Powell founded and was dean of the School of Library Service during his 28-year career at UCLA, and the university's undergraduate library is named for him. He was the author of 50 books, including acclaimed works on Robinson Jeffers, Charles Edward Pickett and bibliographies and essays on Raymond Chandler and Zane Grey. Widely known for his books on books, Powell also produced novels, a play, and works on music.



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