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American Masters: John Muir In The New World

Airs Monday, April 18, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: John Muir, portrayed by Howard Weamer, in Yosemite.

Photo of young John Muir. Preservationist, naturalist, author, explorer, activist, scientist and farmer, John Muir (1838 – 1914) was all these things and more.
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Above: Photo of young John Muir. Preservationist, naturalist, author, explorer, activist, scientist and farmer, John Muir (1838 – 1914) was all these things and more.

Nearly a century after his death, John Muir is remembered and revered as the father of the environmental movement and the founder of the Sierra Club. It was this Scottish American who believed that it was our responsibility as citizens to protect our natural surroundings. And, by example and by passion, he taught us how to care for our wilderness treasures.

Through his tireless advocacy and his writings, he almost single-handedly preserved the Yosemite Valley of California and was the force behind the creation of the National Park Service.

Filmed throughout the majestic landscapes in which Muir traveled, this documentary places our nation’s most important wilderness assets in a cultural and social context. Muir’s story could not be a timelier reminder of America’s unique and, ultimately, threatened eco-systems. View a timeline of historic moments in Muir's biography.

“It’s incredible what we owe to John Muir and, in our era of Katrina and oil spills, how very much we should revere his message today,” says Susan Lacy, series creator and executive producer of American Masters.

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Preview: American Masters: John Muir In The New World

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

Above: Nearly a century after his death, John Muir is remembered and revered as the father of the environmental movement and the founder of the Sierra Club. It was this Scottish American who believed that it was our responsibility as citizens to protect our natural surroundings. And, by example and by passion, he taught us how to care for our wilderness treasures. This documentary places our nation’s most important wilderness assets in a cultural and social context.

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Interview With Documentary Filmmaker Catherine Tatge

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

Above: Catherine Tatge, the director/producer/writer of "American Masters: John Muir In The New World," discusses how she used reenactments to provide the visual elements needed to communicate the power of Muir’s story, casting the part of Muir, and why Muir is an American Master.

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John Muir In The New World: Outtakes: The Alaskan Expedition

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

Above: Hear stories from one of John Muir’s expeditions in Alaska with his colleage and companion S. Hall Young, including a tale of Muir’s rescue of Young during a very near brush with death in these outtakes from the documentary John Muir in the New World.

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