The Singing Wilderness

( 4 )


As meaningful today as it was when Sigurd F. Olson wrote it, The Singing Wilderness is an essential antidote to the trials of modern life. This unique volume, beautifully illustrated by Francis Lee Jaques, will be a welcome addition to any nature lover's bookshelf or backpack.
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Singing Wilderness

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As meaningful today as it was when Sigurd F. Olson wrote it, The Singing Wilderness is an essential antidote to the trials of modern life. This unique volume, beautifully illustrated by Francis Lee Jaques, will be a welcome addition to any nature lover's bookshelf or backpack.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Olson (1899-1982) was more than simply a nature writer, he was an activist who became president of the Wilderness Society and of the National Parks Association and helped lead the fight to preserve Dinosaur National Monument, the Florida Everglades, Voyageurs National Park and many other prized territories. This first biography is notable particularly for the illumination Backes (Canoe Country) brings to Olson's early influences. Reared by an exuberant Baptist preacher, Olson favored saving wild places to saving souls, but his sermonizing borrowed the absolutes of his fire-and-brimstone father. In 1956, when his first book, The Singing Wilderness became a New York Times bestseller, Olson gave up his careers in teaching and geology, opting instead to spread the word of Thoreau, John Burroughs and W.H. Hudson. In his new guise as a professional conservationist, he was inspired by or inspired the likes of Aldo Leopold, Bob Marshall and his good friend, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Olson believed that sin consisted of an underlying separation from God or nature, and was greatly influenced by Teilhard de Chardin's concept of the noosphere, an evolutionary "thought spectrum" surrounding the earth. Olson, who died outdoors while snowshoeing, had left in his typewriter the first words of a new book: "A new adventure is coming up and I'm sure it will be a good one." This smoothly written, congenial biography will engage readers through its compelling parallel narrative of a man's unfolding commitment to his own enlightenment and to the public good.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816629923
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/1997
  • Series: Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 268,988
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Sigurd F. Olson was for more than thirty years a wilderness guide in the Quetico-Superior country, and no one knew with the same intimacy the mysteries of the lakes and forests of that magnificent primitive area. To the many out-of-doorsmen who canoed and portaged with him through this wilderness, he was known honorifically as the Bourgeois -- as the voyageurs of old called their trusted leaders through this same region.

Mr. Olson was born in Chicago in 1899, and educated at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Illinois. For several years he taught biology at Ely Junior College and later served as Dean. He was President of the National Parks Association, a member of its Board of Trustees, and was for years active in organizations devoted to conservation problems.

Mr. Olson was a frequent contributor to magazines concerned with the outdoors, and is the author of several books including Listening Point, The Lonely Land, Runes of the North, Reflection from the North Country, and Of Time and Place. Until his death in 1982, he made his home with his wife, Elizabeth, in Ely, Minnesota, gateway to his beloved Quetico-Superior country.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2008

    It Brings Back Memories

    Calming and introspective. The singing wilderness is something anyone who has spent time in the outdoor has heard. It is quiet and hard to describe but Olson reminds you of all the beauty that can't be replicated, replaced, or sometimes even understood. I often flip to a random chapter and am captivated until the end.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2013

    A must-read for anybody who loves the wilderness

    In this 1956 classic collection of essays set in what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota, and the Quetico National Park in Ontario, Olson masterfully narrates in thirty-three essays spread out over all four seasons the geology, flora, and fauna of the great north woods. More than a well-told travelogue, Olson captures the spirit of the place in eternal and universal terms. For anyone who has paddled a canoe in the north country, this is a must-read. For anyone who will never make it to the BWCA, this is the book that tells you what you missed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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