Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
The idea behind this book, a comparative study of Henry David Thoreau's and John Muir's attitudes toward American Indians, is excellent. Muir, born in 1838, was twenty one years younger than Thoreau. He first read Walden and A Week at the University of Wisconsin in 1862, the year of Thoreau's death. His early writings, although not published until much later, contained generally pro-Indian sentiments similar to Thoreau's , while he also had a Thoreau-like squeamishness about Indians being dirty, lazy, superstitious, and demoralized by contact with whites. "Perhaps if I knew them better, I should like them better," he wrote in My First Summer in the Sierra. "The worst thing about them is their uncleanliness."
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1987