Program Type:Author Event
Darien Library, along with The Mather Homestead and Barrett Bookstore, welcomes author Dean King to discuss his new book, Guardians of the Valley: John Muir and the Friendship That Saved Yosemite.
In June of 1889 in San Francisco, John Muir—iconic environmentalist, writer, and philosopher—meets face-to-face for the first time with his longtime editor Robert Underwood Johnson, an elegant and influential figure at The Century magazine. Before long, the pair, opposites in many ways, decide to venture to Yosemite Valley, the magnificent site where twenty years earlier, Muir experienced a personal and spiritual awakening that would set the course of the rest of his life.
Upon their arrival the men are confronted with a shocking vision, as predatory mining, tourism, and logging industries have plundered and defaced “the grandest of all the special temples of Nature.” While Muir is consumed by grief, Johnson, a champion of society’s most pressing debates via the pages of the nation’s most prestigious magazine, decides that he and Muir must fight back. The pact they form marks a watershed moment, leading to the creation of Yosemite National Park, and launching an environmental battle that captivates the nation and ushers in the beginning of the American environmental movement.
For anyone in love with Yosemite, our national parks and the natural world, this program is for you!
About the Author
Dean King is an award-winning author of ten nonfiction books. Dean relishes the adventures involved in making history come to life while at the same time diligently searching out the truth and turning up new historical detail. While researching his national bestseller Skeletons on the Zahara, he crossed the Sahara on camels and in Land Rovers. He trekked the Long March trail in the Snowy Mountains of Western China while researching Unbound and was shot at in Appalachia while writing The Feud. For his most recent book, Guardians of the Valley, Dean traveled to John Muir’s boyhood homes in Dunbar, Scotland, and rural Wisconsin and spent months roaming Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada.
Dean’s writing has appeared in the Daily Telegraph, Granta, Garden & Gun, National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Travel + Leisure, New York, The New York Times, and Virginia Living. He is also a partner in Gum Street Productions, making documentary films.
Books will be available for purchase at the event, courtesy of Barrett Bookstore.