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by Edward Kanze

John Burroughs - naturalist, ornithologist, author, poet, and teacher - is perhaps best remembered today as one of the earliest and most articulate pioneers of what is now known as the conservation movement in the United States. Burroughs published twenty-eight books between 1867 and 1922, writing about literature as well as nature, and earning a popularity in his time as great as that of his contemporaries and kindred spirits, Henry David Thoreau and John Muir. Many of his writings are still in print.Born in 1837 in the Catskill Mountains of New York State and a longtime resident of the Hudson River Valley, Burroughs spent his life studying the natural world around him - from birds and bees to flowers and trees - and putting his thoughts on paper. His powerful verbal landscapes and philosophical insights into the natural world during the height of the Industrial Revolution were read by hundreds of thousands of people - from powerful industrialists to countless schoolchildren. He counted among his friends the poet Walt Whitman, the pioneering preservation President, Teddy Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, and Andrew Carnegie. Henry Ford, whose own farmland upbringing Burroughs's writing recalled, not only gave the writer a Model T car and went camping with him, but also purchased his boyhood homestead, which Burroughs and other relatives were having trouble maintaining, and deeded it to his friend.Author Ed Kanze, himself a naturalist, writer, and photographer, sheds new light on Burroughs's enormous contribution to how we think about our environment. His biographical text is enhanced by many quotations from Burroughs's essays and poems and, uniquely, by conversations with Burroughs's granddaughter, who contributed numerous affectionate recollections of her grandfather as well as many archival photographs of him, his farm and woodland writing studio, "Slabsides," and family and friends - including Muir, Roosevelt, Ford, Edison, and others. The text is further enlivened with crisp color photographs by Ed Kanze that evoke the landscapes Burroughs knew and loved and the many birds, animals, and plants that he wrote about with such intimacy and feeling. Burroughs's world truly comes alive again in the words and pictures of this book.
Download The World of John Burroughs epub
ISBN: 0810939703
ISBN13: 978-0810939707
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Arts & Literature
Author: Edward Kanze
Language: English
Publisher: Harry N Abrams Inc; 1st Edition edition (September 1, 1993)
Pages: 160 pages
ePUB size: 1619 kb
FB2 size: 1696 kb
Rating: 4.4
Votes: 836
Other Formats: lit lrf rtf docx

In researching my ancestry, I discovered that John Burroughs is one of my ancestors. Found this book and decided to "read up" on him. It's well written and informative. Nicely done!
This is a terrific book about a native NY naturalist, I would recommend it to all lovers of nature and life at the turn of the 19th century.
I learned much and enjoyed the book.
John Burroughs, the naturalist and philosopher, was a best-seller in his day (the late 19th century and early 20th), a Thoreau without rough edges and politics. If he has enjoyed a revival in recent years it is probably due to Ed Kanze's stunningly written and attractively presented biography, "The World of John Burroughs,'' published by Abrams in 1993, and now out of print. The good news: Sierra Club Books has come out with this paperback version. Some of Burroughs is dated today, and as Kanze notes, he published some mediocre essays along with the good stuff. But much of Burroughs' nature writings are brilliant in their painstaking observation and solid prose:
"Most persons think the bee gets honey from the flowers, but she does not: honey is a product of the bee; it is the nectar of the flowers with the bee added. What the bee gets from the flower is sweet water: this she puts through a process of her own and imparts to it her own quality."
Kanze, like a good conversationalist, leads the reader gently through Burroughs' life and writings. Burroughs was a real 19th-century figure: He consorted with the literary likes of John Muir and William Dean Howells and in later life was a favorite of Teddy Roosevelt and Henry Ford -- not to mention the Vassar girls who visited him at his rustic Hudson Valley hideaway, Slabsides. (Burroughs' private life was, in a word, difficult, and Kanze is unstinting in dealing with the birth of his one -- illegitimate -- child.) It is not surprising that Kanze is a naturalist himself and has been a museum curator. The book has the feel of a nature walk or a good museum exhibit, in which a subject not readily familiar to the reader becomes fascinating with the help of a terrific guide. There are well-chosen historical photographs and the luminous nature photography of the author, each photo chosen for its relevance to one or another passage from Burroughs' work. Particularly moving are the photos of Burroughs in Slabsides; paired with Kanze's own color photos of the house's preserved interior.You find your eye traveling back and forth from the old photo to the new, to see the same fireplace stone here, the unpeeled birch desk there.
I loved The World of John Burroughs! Ed Kanze has produced a fascinating book - actual little-known photos of Burroughs' family and friends(who included some of the most famous people of his times) and lovely photos by the author that J. B. would have delighted in. Kanze's capturing of a great blue heron hunting for its breakfast "in the soft light of an autumn day" excites us to marvel at the simple beauty to be seen around us were we to look for ourselves. The text gives a lucid and literate portrait of a man part saint and part sinner. - who suffered some deficiency as a husband as he wandered field and stream, mountain and valley in his all consuming passion for the natural world, but whose observations, appreciations and insights into the world about him, passed on in his prose and poetry have enriched generations of people all over the world. Way before meditation became fashionable (and touted as a panacea for our ills), John Burroughs had a recipe of his own: "One has only to sit down in the wood or fields or by the lake and nearly everything of interest will come round to him. The student of nature has the advantage over people who gad up and down the world seeking novelty or excitement." Burroughs spoke out against an ever inceasing problem he perceived In his time that is all too familiar to us in ours.: the danger of neglecting nature as men/women became caught up in the frantic pace of he then new industrial age. "Time has been saved, almost annihilated, by steam and electricity, yet where is leisure? The more time we save theless we have. The hurry of the machine passes into the man. We can outrun the wind and the storm, but becomes a mere tool, a cog .... More work is done, but in what does it all issue? Certainly not in Beauty, in power, in finer men and women?" These words still speak to us as we approach a new millenium. John Burroughs deserves a renaissance; Ed Kanze's book leads the way! Hurrah for John Burroughs! Hurrah for Ed Kanze!
This is a lovely volume, both for the graceful prose and for the numerous photographs with which it is illustrated. The historic photos, many published here for the first time, capture Burroughs in his time and place, while the color photography by the author reveal the immediacy of Burroughs' world, as well as the author's intimate knowledge and artist's appreciation of it. Many are captioned with quotations from Burroughs, while others simply convey Burroughs' joy at the beauty and wonder of nature, which the author obviously shares and has ably communicated.
Mr. Kanze's research is solid, and his writing clear and concise. He avoids both sentimentality and sensationalism. Many controversial aspects of Burroughs' life are addressed, from the birth of his son to his relationships with John Muir, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Teddy Rooseveldt, and Clara Barrus. In every case, Kanze provides both compelling reasoning and supporting evidence.
While one does not expect to find a comprehensive biography in a coffee-table book, Kanze has done a remarkable job, with no words wasted. It is, in fact, far more than a simple biography, as the juxtaposition of historic photos and Kanze's own beautiful photography allow the reader to make connections beyond the ability of mere words.
Mr. Kanze's book would make a delightful addition to any nature lover's library, or to anyone's living room. It is an excellent introduction to the subject, a pleasure to read, and a treat for the eyes.