Sierra Club Books

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Sierra Club Books
Parent companySierra Club
FounderDavid Brower
SuccessorCounterpoint (adult), Gibbs Smith (childrens)
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationSan Francisco
DistributionPublishers Group West
Publication typesBooks

Sierra Club Books was the publishing division of the Sierra Club, founded in 1960 by then Sierra Club President David Brower. Volumes intended for club members had been published prior to 1960. In addition, books under their name had been published before 1960, but done through already established publishers, as was the case with This Is Dinosaur, published by Alfred A. Knopf. Their first in-house book, volume 1 in the Exhibit Format series, was This is the American Earth, published in 1960.[1] In 1962, they introduced color photography to the series with the publication of In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World with photographs by Eliot Porter and Island In Time: The Point Reyes Peninsula with photographs by Philip Hyde. The series won the 1964 Carey–Thomas Award for creative publishing, by Publishers Weekly. Fifty thousand copies were sold in the first four years, and by 1964 sales exceeded $10 million. Soon they were publishing two new titles a year in the Exhibit Format series, but not all did as well as In Wildness. The books were successful in introducing the public to wilderness preservation and the Sierra Club,[2] but lost money for the organization, some $60,000 a year after 1964. Paperback reprints of many of the Exhibit Format books were published by Ballantine Books. After David Brower left the Club, the books program moved to New York City, then back to San Francisco under the leadership of Jon Beckmann. During Beckmann's tenure from the mid-1970s until 1994 the program expanded and diversified considerably, publishing books by established and emerging authors such as Wendell Berry, Robert Bly, Galen Rowell, and David Rains Wallace as well as field guides, fiction, poetry, and books on environmental activism, such as the Sierra Club Battlebooks. Many Sierra Club books were produced by the Yolla Bolly Press run by Jim and Carolyn Robertson in Covelo, California. The program continued for two decades after 1994, first under Peter Beren, the former marketing director, then under Helen Sweetland, the former children's books editor. The press closed in 2014[3]. The Club continues to publish the Sierra Club Wilderness Calendar and the Sierra Club Engagement Calendar annually, which are perennial bestsellers. They are distributed to the book trade by Publishers Group West.

Partial bibliography[edit]

Exhibit Format[edit]

  • (edited by David Brower, unless otherwise indicated)
  1. This is the American Earth, Ansel Adams and Nancy Newhall (1960)
  2. Words of the Earth, photographs by Cedric Wright, edited by Nancy Newhall (1960)
  3. These We Inherit: The Parklands of America, Ansel Adams
  4. "In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World", selected text by Henry David Thoreau, edited by, and with photographs by, Eliot Porter (1962)
  5. The Place No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado, photographs by Eliot Porter
  6. The Last Redwoods: Photographs and Story of a Vanishing Scenic Resource, Philip Hyde and Franćois Leydet
  7. Ansel Adams: A Biography. Volume 1: The Eloquent Light, Nancy Newhall
  8. Time and the River Flowing: Grand Canyon, Philip Hyde and Franćois Leydet
  9. Gentle Wilderness: The Sierra Nevada, excerpted text from John Muir, photographs by Richard Kauffman
  10. Not Man Apart: Photographs of the Big Sur Coast, excerpted poetry from Robinson Jeffers
  11. The Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland, Harvey Manning, foreword by William O. Douglas (1965)
  12. Everest: The West Ridge, Thomas F. Hornbein, with photographs from the American Mount Everest Expedition[4]
  13. Summer Island: Penobscot Country, Eliot Porter
  14. Navajo Wildlands: As Long as The Rivers Shall Run, Stephen Jett, photographs by Philip Hyde (Kenneth Brower, editor)
  15. Kauai and the Park Country of Hawaii Robert Wenkam (Kenneth Brower, editor)
  16. Glacier Bay: The Land and the Silence, Dave Bohn
  17. Baja California and the Geography of Hope, Joseph Wood Krutch, photographs by Eliot Porter (Kenneth Brower, editor)
  18. Central Park Country: A Tune Within Us, Mireille Johnston, photographs by Nancy and Retta Johnson (introduction by Marianne Moore)
19. Galápagos: The Flow of Wildness 1. Discovery, photographs by Eliot Porter, introduction by Loren Eiseley, with selected text from Charles Darwin, Herman Melville, and others.
20. Galápagos: The Flow of Wildness 2. Prospect, photographs by Eliot Porter, introduction by John B. Milton, text by Eliot Porter and Kenneth Brower
  • The Wilder Shore: (A Yolla Bolly Press Book) Photographs by Morely Baer, Text by David Rains Wallace, Foreword by Wallace Stegner, 1984


Yolla Bolly Press[edit]

Material World[edit]



External links[edit]