The University of Wisconsin Press



The Pathless Way
John Muir and American Wilderness
Michael P. Cohen

Winner of the 1983 Mark H. Ingraham Prize
Winner of the 1983 Utah Arts Commission Award

"A tour de force, a remarkable narrative of spiritual and political development. . . . [Cohen's] oft unanswered, and unanswerable questions, his views of Muir's spiritual, intellectual, and political growth are insightful, challenging, and new. They deserve an audience with scholars and Muir devotees."—Shirley Sargent, Pacific Historian

In this powerful study, Michael Cohen captures as never before the powerful consciousness, vision, and legacy of the pioneering environmentalist John Muir. Ultimately, Cohen stresses, this ecological consciousness would generate an ecological conscience.

It was no longer enough for Muir to individually test and celebrate his enlightenment in the wild. His vision, he now felt, must lead to concrete action, and the result was a protracted campaign that stressed the ecological education of the American public, governmental protection of natural resources, the establishment of the National Parks, and the encouragement of tourism.

Anyone interested in environmental studies, in American history and literature, or in the future of our natural heritage will be drawn by the very bracing flavor of his wilderness odyssey, evoked here by one of his own—a twentieth-century mountaineer and literary craftsman.

Michael P. Cohen received his Ph.D. in literature from the University of California, Irvine, and presently teaches English at Southern Utah State College in Cedar City, Utah. He spent ten seasons climbing in the Sierra Nevada, and is now a passionate fly fisherman in the summer, a skier in winter. As Muir wrote to save wild places, so Cohen writes for the mountains, and for people who want to understand the evolution of ecological consciousness and conscience in America.

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John Muir illustrated on sky blue background with mountain scene

May 1984

LC: 83-040260 QH
500 pp.

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Paper $24.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-09724-0
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