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John McPhee Books In Order

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Publication Order of John McPhee Reader Books

The John McPhee Reader (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Second John McPhee Reader (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Annals of the Former World Books

Basin and Range (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Suspect Terrain (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rising from the Plains (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Assembling California (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Annals of the Former World (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

A Sense of Where You Are (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Headmaster (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Oranges (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pine Barrens (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Roomful of Hovings (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Levels of the Game (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Crofter and the Laird (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Encounters with the Archdruid (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Giving Good Weight (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wimbledon (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Curve of Binding Energy (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pieces of the Frame (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Survival of the Bark Canoe (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Coming into the Country (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
La Place de la Concorde Suisse (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Riding the Boom Extension (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Table of Contents (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
In The Highlands And The Islands (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heirs of General Practice (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Outcroppings (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Control of Nature (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Looking for a Ship (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cargo (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ransom of Russian Art (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Turning the World Upside Down (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irons in the Fire (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Instructor's Manual to Accompany Worldly Wisdom by Daniel Bonevac (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Princeton Anthology of Writing (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Founding Fish (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The American Shad (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Uncommon Carriers (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silk Parachute (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Princeton Reader (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Draft No. 4 (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Patch (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tabula Rasa: Volume 1 (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Great Bear(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life Stories(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Secret Ingredients(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon

John McPhee is an American author of non-fiction, science, outdoors, and nature books. He kickstarted his writing career writing for Time Magazine and the New Yorker. He has authored several best-sellers and received numerous awards. Coming into the Country remains as one of McPhee’s most reputable works, and the book earned McPhee a Literature Award from the Academy of Arts. Other notable works include Annals of the Former World and The Control of Nature.
Coming into the Country

Coming into the Country is a story about Alaska and its inhabitants. This story starts with a brief on Alaska in the early 1960s. During this time, the land was covered with darkness, and the winter had lasted for half a century. While the people of Alaska are resilient and adapted to harsh climatic conditions, they were tired of the cold and snow. A fantastic thing happened early in 1964 when the sun appeared just when Alaska was under siege thanks to the Russian invaders. McPhee, intrigued by the bizarre appearance of the sun only when the Alaskans needed it coupled with visions he had about this region, made a trip to Alaska. Here, he spent his days exploring the land and interviewing people who had lived here for ages.

The story covers both the wilderness and urban life of the people of Alaska. The story shifts scenes frequently, but the clarity and flow are on another level. Do not let the title and cover deceive you as this story is not about geology. The story gives a detailed account of Alaska, its people way of life, and the history of this Country as told by its inhabitants. Coming into the Country is divided into three parts.

The first part documents the author’s adventures as he explores Alaska on kayaks. Accompanied by a few other men, McPhee camped along streams and fished to supplement his food as he covered a good portion of the Alaska wilderness. In a land where anyone can pitch a tent anywhere without getting much attention from other residents, finding a place to pitch a tent was easy. The second part covers the people’s attempt to move the capital of Alaska from Juneau to Willow IN 1977. The move was unsuccessful as Juneau is the capital of Alaska to date. The third part covers the stories of the Eagle residents. Eagle is a small town on Yukon River, where McPhee spent considerable time interviewing the residents. The Town, just like the rest of Alaska, was home to a handful of people. According to the 2010 census, Eagle was home to 86 people.

If you are curious about life in Alaska, Coming into the Country would be a great place to start your research. The book is written by someone who toured the country and can give a first-hand account of life in this cold region. The book is filled with exciting facts ranging from the use of fried cranberries to cure sour throat to how to tell the age of bear scat. There are also fascinating tales by Alaska residents detailing their experiences living in a place where the sun is a rare occurrence.

Encounters with the Archdruid

Encounters with the Archdruid is a non-fiction piece that details the journey of four men through the wilderness. These four men explored the Colorado River, a coastal island, Western mountain range, and the Grand Canyon, and each interacted with the environment in different ways. The three-part book stars David Brower, a conservationist who had a special relationship with the environment. For a man who viewed the wilderness as his religion, a dam builder, a resort developer, and a mineral engineer were among his biggest enemies. In every part of this book, McPhee documents how a meeting between Brower and his enemies would feel like.

Through McPhee, meets Charles Park, a mining consultant, Charles Fraser, Hilton Head developer, and Floyd Dominy, dam-building head at the Bureau of Reclamation. While it is clear that McPhee is pro-wilderness, he is fair to all the principles, and he does an excellent job of outlining their views. What does each of these men feel about the environment in relation to the work they do? Does a miner or developer who specializes in creating resorts in the middle of the wilderness care about the environment? This book will answer all these questions and so much more. The tales are entertaining while highlighting the pros and cons of utilizing the wilderness to the benefit of present and future generations.

Brower has a preservation approach to conservation. According to him, the value of nature by far outweighs the monetary value society gets when natural resources are extracted. Charles Park, on the other hand, believes that the economic benefits derived from the wilderness can be enjoyed as long as the extraction is done in an environmentally responsible way. Park’s sentiments are shared by Charles Fraser and Floyd Dominy, who also believe natural resources can be exploited without disrupting the natural ecosystem.

While this seems like a good versus evil story, this cannot be further from the truth. The saintly conservationist has a solid point regarding the wilderness and nature as a whole. Still, the truth is that some of the minerals derived in the wilderness are important for human survival. In the end, this is a tale of Good vs. Good. With the help of the dam builder, many farms will have adequate water for irrigation. For the developer, a resort surrounded by the wilderness will create a retreat where people can go to recharge. The miner will allow the exploitation of some essential gifts of nature.

If you are a nature lover or are torn on the best way to deal with the gifts of nature, Encounters with the Archdruid is ideal. The story offers different perspectives on conservation. Through men who interact with the environment in different ways, they get new views on the protection and exploitation of natural resources. While the three parts of the book are quite different, the story flows well. Expect to get hooked from the first page and enjoy the narrative to the end.

Book Series In Order » Authors » John McPhee

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