The Life and Truth of George R. Stewart

A Literary Biography of the Author of Earth Abides

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About the Book

Best known for his 1949 post-apocalyptic thriller Earth Abides, George R. Stewart (1895–1980) spent a lifetime wandering the American landscape and writing books about its geography and history. An English professor at the University of California at Berkeley, the exceptional scholar-author penned some of the most remarkable literary works of the 20th century, inventing several types of books along the way—including the road-geography book, micro-history, place-name history, ecological history, and the ecological novel. By weaving human and natural sciences and history into his books Stewart created works with a multi-disciplinary perspective on events and places that influenced numerous other writers, artists, and scientists, including Stephen King, Greg Bear, and Page Stegner. This volume considers George R. Stewart’s rich oeuvre while chronicling a life-long quest to uncover the deepest truths about the man and his work.

About the Author(s)

Donald M. Scott has taught in high schools, adult schools, and in community college. He has worked as a National Park Ranger-Naturalist in national parks and served as a NASA aerospace educational representative where he worked with NASA astronauts and scientists to develop educational programs, which he presented to students and teachers. His home base is in Arroyo Grande, California, but he travels extensively as a volunteer in parks.

Bibliographic Details

Donald M. Scott
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 246
Bibliographic Info: 40 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6799-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9053-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments   viii

Preface   1

Prologue: Of Librarians and Libraries   2

I. Wandering Toward Wisdom   5

II. A Gift of Ordeals   67

III. The Man Who Named the Storms   94

IV. Of Freedom and Friendship   124

V. Emeritus   152

VI. Opus Perfeci   184

Epilogue   201

Chief Sources   204

Notes   206

Bibliography   216

Index   227

Book Reviews & Awards

“Scott’s biography…is a fully formed exploration of a life of writing and travel and field study that spooled from a supremely inquisitive mind and a supportive family…Scott gives us an effective, appropriately documented, and always enthusiastic biography of George R. Stewart…labor of love, long in the emerging”—Association of American Geographers.