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JOHN BURROUGHS, THE SAGE OF SLABSIDES by Ginger Wadsworth

JOHN BURROUGHS, THE SAGE OF SLABSIDES

By Ginger Wadsworth

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: March 17th, 1997
ISBN: 0-395-77830-1
Publisher: Clarion

 Wadsworth (John Muir, 1992, etc.) pays tribute to an icon of the environmental conservation movement, a popular nature writer of the last century and friend to the likes of Walt Whitman, John Muir, and Teddy Roosevelt. An inveterate keeper of notebooks, Burroughs seems to have recorded his every deed and thought, and while he's not quoted extensively here, included are somewhat trivial details: the name of his cow, the kinds of books he bought on a particular occasion, how many barrels of butter his father once sold. Nonetheless, Wadsworth offers a good sense of Burroughs's gregarious personality (he particularly enjoyed the company of younger women) and almost sensuous writing style: ``The apple . . . I toy with you; press your face to mine, toss you in the air, roll you on the ground, see you shine.'' His personal life is sketched but not idealized, his influence on his own and succeeding generations clearly laid out, and a generous selection of black-and-white photographs captures his shaggy-bearded presence, benevolent but magisterial. Burroughs's work remains a landmark of environmental awareness and much of it is still being reprinted: Back this capable biography up with the compilation John Burroughs' America (1997). (bibliography, index) (Biography. 10-13)