Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America [NOOK Book]

Overview

John James Audubon is renowned for his masterpiece of natural history and art, The Birds of America, the first nearly comprehensive survey of the continent’s birdlife. And yet few people understand, and many assume incorrectly, what sort of man he was. How did the illegitimate son of a French sea captain living in Haiti, who lied both about his parentage and his training, rise to become one of the greatest natural historians ever and the greatest name in ornithology? In Under a Wild Sky this Pulitzer Prize ...
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Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America

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Overview

John James Audubon is renowned for his masterpiece of natural history and art, The Birds of America, the first nearly comprehensive survey of the continent’s birdlife. And yet few people understand, and many assume incorrectly, what sort of man he was. How did the illegitimate son of a French sea captain living in Haiti, who lied both about his parentage and his training, rise to become one of the greatest natural historians ever and the greatest name in ornithology? In Under a Wild Sky this Pulitzer Prize finalist, William Souder reveals that Audubon did not only compose the most famous depictions of birds the world has ever seen, he also composed a brilliant mythology of self. In this dazzling work of biography, Souder charts the life of a driven man who, despite all odds, became the historical figure we know today.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Souder renders a fascinating portrait not only of Audubon but of the America he knew, a place so lush and fertile it seems almost mythical. But those drawings — foundational American documents — prove it was so, and this book makes new and compelling sense of them and their creator." — Bill McKibben
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571319234
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 7/21/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 336,487
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

An award winning journalist, William Souder is the author of three books. A Plague of Frogs (Hyperion 2000) followed the investigation of outbreaks of deformed frogs across North America. Under a Wild Sky (North Point Press, 2004) a biography of John James Audubon, won numerous awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His latest book, On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, (Crown, 2012) was published in September 2012 on the 50th anniversary of Carson's Silent Spring and earned numerous accolades, including a listing as a New York Times Notable Book of 2012, a Slate Staff Pick for 2012, and inclusion in Kirkus Reviews’ Top 25 Nonfiction Books of 2012. Mr. Souder lives in Grant, Minnesota.
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Table of Contents

Part I Audubon and Wilson
1 Philadelphia 3
2 Coming Across 18
3 A Name for Every Living Thing 29
4 Lessons 45
5 A Beautiful Plantation 65
6 The Forester 80
7 The Exquisite River 87
8 Mr. Wilson's Decade 104
Part II The Birds of America
9 At the Red Banks 121
10 Kentucky Home 132
11 Legions of the Air 146
12 Ever Since a Boy 163
13 Edinburgh 195
14 Dearest Friend 227
15 My Great Work 246
16 After 286
Acknowledgments 293
Notes 297
Bibliography 349
Index 357
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2014

    Dawn

    The leader swoops in raspberry branches in her beak the pale cream dove was pretty.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2014

    Freckle and Scar

    Freckle swooped in with Scar. The two nodded to each other and picked out nests.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    Dove camp

    Rare so please limit down

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  • Posted July 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    A truly fascinating and well written book.  I have always been e

    A truly fascinating and well written book.  I have always been enamored of Audubon's great masterpieces of bird art contained in "The Birds Of America", but never realized all the trials and tribulations Audubon endured to create these works and to get them engraved and published.  Through economic hardship, family conflict, and mental instability still this great man was able to accomplish the completion of this monumental work which to my mind is one of America's great contributions to the world.  The author, William Souder is an amazing writer and drives the narrative like no other author I have read; I look forward to reading his biography of Rachel Carson.  Not only are his descriptions of Audubon's life and times wonderful, but he also portrays magnificently Audubon's America, a place vastly different than our own and so rich in natural wonders.  I wish I could visit early pristine America and see it's natural treasures with Audubon as my guide.  A wonderful read and one I would recommend to anyone interested in the early natural history of America and definitely for those curious about this great man and his amazing contribution to ornithology.  A must read and one of my new favorite books. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2013

    A Michelangelo in buckskin---What a man!

    This mystical story haunted me for nearly a year until I came upon a copy of an Audubon print, beautifully matted & framed. It was last in the stack, because it was the largest in the gallery, of course, because the birds are depicted life size--just as he always wanted them to be. Under a Wild Sky is a sunrise for any artist who needs to be inspired and a page turning delight for readers of history and adventure. Buy it!

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