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Open Horizons

1998
Author:

Sigurd F Olson
Illustrations by Les C. Kouba

Open Horizons

Olson’s inspirational life story, told in his own words, now available in paperback.

Illustrated by Leslie Kouba

Sigurd Olson’s love affair with the wilderness began in a stream near his house in Wisconsin-he caught his first trout there with a tamarack wand, black thread, and a grasshopper as bait. Open Horizons is his autobiography, and in it he recounts a life lived on and for the land, from the wonder of boyhood fishing expeditions to decades-long conservation battles.

The essential charm, quite apart from the sheer power, wisdom, and ever widening horizons of this book, is your induction as a reader into another self. Suddenly you are not looking at another ma

you are thinking his thoughts, sharing his canoe, his cabin.” The New York Times Book Review, 1969

Sigurd Olson’s love affair with the wilderness began in a stream near his house in Wisconsin-he caught his first trout there with a tamarack wand, black thread, and a grasshopper as bait. Open Horizons is his autobiography, and in it he recounts a life lived on and for the land, from the wonder of boyhood fishing expeditions to decades-long conservation battles.

Writing always with the sensitive, lyric prose that characterizes his works, Olson recalls his pioneering youth on a remote Wisconsin farm, his summers as a wilderness canoe guide, and his thousands of miles of travel through the wilds of this country and Canada. “Open Horizons is the story of the unknowns I have discovered, and gone through,” he writes.

While telling his story, Olson makes a compelling case for preserving the wilderness. He puts forth his own life as an example of how nature can have a spiritual effect on the human soul, and proposes diligence on behalf of those who fight to conserve our forests, wetlands, and dunes. “If we can move into an open horizon where we can live in our modern world with ancient dreams that have always stirred us, then our work will have been done.”

ISBN 0-8166-3037-2 Paper $14.95
256 pages 12 line drawings 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 September
Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Book Series
Translation inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

Open Horizons

Sigurd F. Olson (1899-1982) was one of the greatest environmentalists of the twentieth century. An award-winning conservation activist and best-selling author, Olson introduced a generation of Americans to the importance of wilderness. He served as president of the Wilderness Society and the National Parks Association and was honored by the Sierra Club and National Wildlife Federation for his work. Olson’s nine books frequently appeared on best-seller lists across the nation.

Open Horizons

The essential charm, quite apart from the sheer power, wisdom, and ever widening horizons of this book, is your induction as a reader into another self. Suddenly you are not looking at another ma

you are thinking his thoughts, sharing his canoe, his cabin.” The New York Times Book Review, 1969

“Open Horizons is a paean to the all-engulfing silence of wilderness, to the glory of the stars, and to the sheer delight of making one’s way by canoe and portage through new and unmapped country.” Atlantic 1969

“Olson’s adventures are all recalled with freshness and vibrancy reminiscent at times of the writings of the great John Muir.” Library Journal, 1969

“Vicariously, Olson takes you by the hand on his trips during a lifetime, through an invisible door into nature’s realm and its many majesties. He has a good eye, a good ear, and an expert knowledge.” Natural History, 1969

Open Horizons

CONTENTS

Introduction

1 . THE PIPES OF PAN
2 . THE WIND'S WILL
3 . FEEL OF THE LAND
4- • SONG OF THE NORTH
5 . BEYOND THE RANGES
6 • STREAM OF THE PAST
7 • FACE OF THE EARTH
8 - A MOUNTAIN LISTENS
9 • THE MAKER OF DREAMS
10 - BATTLE FOR A WILDERNESS
11 • LANDSCAPE OF THE UNIVERSE