Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America

Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America

by William Souder
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Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America by William Souder

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781571319234
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication date: 07/21/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,170,171
File size: 2 MB

About 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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Under a Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of The Birds of America 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The leader swoops in raspberry branches in her beak the pale cream dove was pretty.
MatthewK17815 More than 1 year ago
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. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!