This unprecedented anthology of John James Audubon’s lively and colorful writings about the American wilderness reintroduces the great artist and ornithologist as an exceptional American writer, a predecessor to Thoreau, Emerson, and Melville.
Audubon’s award-winning biographer, Richard Rhodes, has gathered excerpts from his journals, letters, and published works, and has organized them to appeal to general readers. Rhodes’s unobtrusive commentary frames a wide range of selections, including Audubon’s vivid “bird biographies,” correspondence with his devoted wife, Lucy, journal accounts of dramatic river journeys and hunting trips with the Shawnee and Osage Indians, and a generous sampling of brief narrative episodes that have long been out of print—engaging stories of pioneer life such as "The Great Pine Swamp," “The Earthquake,” and “Kentucky Barbecue on the Fourth of July.” Full-color reproductions of sixteen of Audubon’s stunning watercolor illustrations accompany the text.
The Audubon Reader allows us to experience Audubon’s distinctive voice directly and provides a window into his electrifying encounter with early America: with its wildlife and birds, its people, and its primordial wilderness.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Richard Rhodes is the author or editor of twentytwo books, most recently the author of The Twilight of the Bomb, the last volume in a quartet about nuclear history. The first, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, won the Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a National Book Critics Circle Award.
He has received numerous fellowships for research and writing, including grants from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard and MIT and a host and correspondent for documentaries on public television's Frontline and American Experience series. An affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, he lectures frequently to audiences in the United States and abroad.