John McPhee

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Non-Fiction

Literary collections (27)

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The Survival of the Bark Canoe

by John McPhee

In Greenville, New Hampshire, a small town in the southern part of the state, Henri Vaillancourt makes birch-bark canoes in the same manner and with the same tools that the Indians used. The Survival of the...


Silk Parachute

by John McPhee

A WONDROUS NEW BOOK OF MCPHEE’S PROSE PIECES—IN MANY ASPECTS HIS MOST PERSONAL IN FOUR DECADES

The brief, brilliant essay “Silk Parachute,” which first appeared in The New Yorker a decade ago, has become...


A Roomful of Hovings and Other Profiles

by John McPhee

In this unique book, John McPhee takes us into the world of several fascinating people. His inimitable style reveals the intricate details of his characters lives.


Encounters with the Archdruid

by John McPhee

The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different...


Basin and Range

by John McPhee

The first of John McPhee’s works in his series on geology and geologists, Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world—a history...


The Headmaster

by John McPhee

Starting in 1902 at a country school that had an enrollment of fourteen, Frank Boyden built an academy that has long since taken its place on a level with Andover and Exeter. Boyden, who died in 1972, was the...


Annals of the Former World

Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction 1999

by John McPhee

The Pulitzer Prize-winning view of the continent, across the fortieth parallel and down through 4.6 billion years

Twenty years ago, when John McPhee began his journeys back and forth across the United States,...


A Sense of Where You Are

by John McPhee

When John McPhee met Bill Bradley, both were at the beginning of their careers. A Sense of Where You Are, McPhee’s first book, is about Bradley when he was the best basketball player Princeton had ever seen....


In Suspect Terrain

by John McPhee

From the outwash plains of Brooklyn to Indiana's drifted diamonds and gold, John McPhee's In Suspect Terrain is a narrative of the earth, told in four sections of equal length, each in a different way reflecting...


Looking for a Ship

by John McPhee

This is an extraordinary tale of life on the high seas aboard one of the last American merchant ships, the S.S. Stella Lykes, on a forty-two-day journey from Charleston down the Pacific coast of South America....


Oranges

by John McPhee

A classic of reportage, Oranges was first conceived as a short magazine article about oranges and orange juice, but the author kept encountering so much irresistible information that he eventually found that...


The Pine Barrens

by John McPhee & James Graves

Most people think of New Jersey as a suburban-industrial corridor that runs between New York and Philadelphia. Yet in the low center of the state is a near wilderness, larger than most national parks, which...


Levels of the Game

by John McPhee

This account of a tennis match played by Arthur Ashe against Clark Graebner at Forest Hills in 1968 begins with the ball rising into the air for the initial serve and ends with the final point. McPhee provides...


The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed

by John McPhee

This is the fascinating story of the dream of a completely new aircraft, a hybrid of the plane and the rigid airship - huge, wingless, moving slowly through the lower sky. John McPhee chronicles the perhaps...


The Crofter and the Laird

by John McPhee & James Graves

When John McPhee returned to the island of his ancestors—Colonsay, twenty-five miles west of the Scottish mainland—a hundred and thirty-eight people were living there. About eighty of these, crofters and...


The Curve of Binding Energy

by John McPhee

Theodore Taylor was one of the most brilliant engineers of the nuclear age, but in his later years he became concerned with the possibility of an individual being able to construct a weapon of mass destruction...


The John McPhee Reader

by John McPhee & William L. Howarth

The John McPhee Reader, first published in 1976, is comprised of selections from the author’s first twelve books. In 1965, John McPhee published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are; a decade later, he...


Pieces of the Frame

by John McPhee

Pieces of the Frame is a gathering of memorable writings by one of the greatest journalists and storytellers of our time. They take the reader from the backwoods roads of Georgia, to the high altitude of Ruidoso...


Giving Good Weight

by John McPhee

"You people come into the market—the Greenmarket, in the open air under the down pouring sun—and you slit the tomatoes with your fingernails. With your thumbs, you excavate the cheese. You choose your stringbeans...


La Place de la Concorde Suisse

by John McPhee

La Place de la Concorde Suisse is John McPhee's rich, journalistic study of the Swiss Army's role in Swiss society. The Swiss Army is so quietly efficient at the art of war that the Isrealis carefully patterned...