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Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer
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Crown 2011
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The definitive biography of Everett Ruess, the artist, writer, and eloquent celebrator of the wilderness whose bold solo explorations of the American West and mysterious disappearance in the Utah desert at age twenty have earned him a large and devoted cult following.

“Easily one of [Roberts’s] best . . . thoughtful and passionate . . . a compelling portrait of the Ruess myth.”—Outside


Wandering alone with burros and pack horses through California and the Southwest for five years in the early 1930s, on voyages lasting as long as ten months, Ruess became friends with photographers Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange, swapped prints with Ansel Adams, took part in a Hopi ceremony, learned to speak Navajo, and was among the first "outsiders" to venture deeply into what was then (and to some extent still is) largely a little-known wilderness. When he vanished without a trace in November 1934, Ruess left behind thousands of pages of journals, letters, and poems, as well as more than a hundred watercolor paintings and blockprint engravings.

Everett Ruess is hailed as a paragon of solo exploration, while the mystery of his death remains one of the greatest riddles in the annals of American adventure. David Roberts began probing the life and death of Everett Ruess for National Geographic Adventure magazine in 1998. Finding Everett Ruess is the result of his personal journeys into the remote areas explored by Ruess, his interviews with oldtimers who encountered the young vagabond and with Ruess’s closest living relatives, and his deep immersion in Ruess’s writings and artwork. More than seventy-five years after his vanishing, Ruess stirs the kinds of passion and speculation accorded such legendary doomed American adventurers as Into the Wild’s Chris McCandless and Amelia Earhart.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
07/19/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780307591784
ASIN:
B004J4WL6E
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APA Citation (style guide)

David Roberts. (2011). Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

David Roberts. 2011. Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

David Roberts, Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer. Crown, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

David Roberts. Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer. Crown, 2011. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • value: adventure books
      • value: history books
      • value: edward weston
      • value: dorthea lange
      • value: nature books
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Roberts, David
      • bioText: David Roberts was the author of more than twenty books on mountaineering, adventure, and history, including No Shortcuts to the Top, K2, and The Will to Climb, which he co-wrote with Ed Viesturs and a memoir On The Ridge Between Life and Death. He has written for National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, and Smithsonian. David Roberts passed away in 2021.
      • name: David Roberts
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imprint
Broadway Books
publishDate
2011-07-19T05:00:00+01:00
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title
Finding Everett Ruess
fullDescription
The definitive biography of Everett Ruess, the artist, writer, and eloquent celebrator of the wilderness whose bold solo explorations of the American West and mysterious disappearance in the Utah desert at age twenty have earned him a large and devoted cult following.

“Easily one of [Roberts’s] best . . . thoughtful and passionate . . . a compelling portrait of the Ruess myth.”—Outside


Wandering alone with burros and pack horses through California and the Southwest for five years in the early 1930s, on voyages lasting as long as ten months, Ruess became friends with photographers Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange, swapped prints with Ansel Adams, took part in a Hopi ceremony, learned to speak Navajo, and was among the first "outsiders" to venture deeply into what was then (and to some extent still is) largely a little-known wilderness. When he vanished without a trace in November 1934, Ruess left behind thousands of pages of journals, letters, and poems, as well as more than a hundred watercolor paintings and blockprint engravings.

Everett Ruess is hailed as a paragon of solo exploration, while the mystery of his death remains one of the greatest riddles in the annals of American adventure. David Roberts began probing the life and death of Everett Ruess for National Geographic Adventure magazine in 1998. Finding Everett Ruess is the result of his personal journeys into the remote areas explored by Ruess, his interviews with oldtimers who encountered the young vagabond and with Ruess’s closest living relatives, and his deep immersion in Ruess’s writings and artwork. More than seventy-five years after his vanishing, Ruess stirs the kinds of passion and speculation accorded such legendary doomed American adventurers as Into the Wild’s Chris McCandless and Amelia Earhart.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: -Outside Magazine
      • content:

        "Finding Everett Ruess is easily one of [Roberts'] best....thoughtful and passionate....a compelling portrait of the Ruess myth."

      • premium: False
      • source: -Booklist
      • content: "Anyone intrigued by the Ruess phenomenon will be enthralled with Roberts' review of the young man's biography, the stature of his artistic achievements and unrealized potential, and efforts to find and eventually memorialize him.... This is sure to appeal to fans of wilderness wanderers."
      • premium: False
      • source: -Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "Absorbing...A [well researched], readable look at a complex personality in wilderness exploration."
      • premium: False
      • source: -Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and a Hard Place and subject of the film 127 Hours
      • content: "Everett Lives! If not in a desert canyon, then at least among the pages where David Roberts brings the young man's life and legend all together: his writings and art, his kinship with nature, his love for adventure and beauty, and the yet-evolving mystery of his disappearance. Count me one among many inspired by a young adventurer who lived in beauty and left us too soon. May we never stop wandering."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Roberts deftly..captures the complexity of his subject."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 9, 2011
        In this exhaustive biography, Roberts (No Shortcuts to the Top) retraces the life and disappearance of Everett Ruess in 1934. A young artist and adventurer, Ruess left home in Los Angeles at 16 and spent most of the following four years traveling alone through the remotest regions of the American West. He chronicled his adventures in letters, journals, and watercolors, and soon after he vanished in the backcountry of southern Utah, a legend grew around the handsome and troubled wanderer. Roberts deftly recounts the development of Ruess's celebrity and the controversies that continue to surround the mystery of his death. As a biographer, Roberts faced a difficult task: Ruess was not well-known in his lifetime, and the extensive gaps in his own accounts of his travels are only sparsely supplemented by the testimonies of those he encountered. This lack of evidence added fuel to the legend, and Roberts spends a great deal of time examining theories about Ruess—especially the claim that he was both gay and suicidal. Roberts's thoroughness leads to tedium at times, but his approach captures the complexity of his subject.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        May 15, 2011

        The absorbing story of wilderness explorer Everett Ruess, who has gained a cult-like following since his disappearance in 1934.

        In adventure writer Roberts' (The Last of His Kind: The Life and Adventures of Bradford Washburn, America's Boldest Mountaineer, 2010) latest, the author examines the life of Ruess, who was born in 1914 to caring, if over-involved parents. From a young age, he was fascinated with nature. At 16, he set off on the first of his expeditions, hitchhiking from Los Angeles to Carmel, then moving on to Big Sur. Roberts depicts Ruess as intelligent but somewhat naïve, and completely unable to support himself. He became increasingly dependent on his cash-strapped parents to fund his wanderings, and his sense of entitlement deepened over the course of his short life. The author relies on Ruess' surviving letters and journals to paint a portrait of the explorer, and they reveal a moody, pensive and often troubled young man who had a disdain for sedentary life: "I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax." The second half of the book delves into the possible fate of the explorer, presenting readers with four possible outcomes: suicide, murder, accidental death or withdrawal into hiding. Roberts explores each of these avenues thoroughly, providing both sides of each argument before laying out his own investigation. Though readers may be left with niggling doubts—Roberts chronicles many hoaxes with regards to Ruess' disappearance—in the end, he makes a convincing case.

        A well-researched, readable look at a complex personality in wilderness exploration.

         

        (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2011

        In 1930, 16-year-old Everett Ruess set out from California and traveled by horse and burro through Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado, maintaining a journal and bartering the exquisite artworks he created for goods. Then, in 1934, he disappeared. A contributing editor to National Geographic with 20 books to his credit, Roberts first probed the enduring mystery of Ruess's disappearance in a 1999 story for the magazine, then again in 2009 when it appeared that Reuss's remains had been found. (False alarm.) Ruess is such an enduring legend in the Southwest that annual "Everett Ruess Days" are held in Escalante, UT; there is even a species of dinosaur, Seitaad ruessi, named after him. Ruess is frequently compared to Christopher McCandless, whose story Jon Krakauer told in Into the Wild; Krakauer wrote the introduction here. An intriguing tale with lots of regional promotion; could break out into something big.

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2011
        Twenty years old when he vanished in southern Utah in 1934, Everett Ruess has become in recent decades a focus of considerable popular and artistic interest. His fate seemed resolved when a desert grave was discovered in 2008, a matter in which Roberts was intensely involved, but DNA analysis excluded the remains as those of Ruess. Nevertheless, anyone intrigued by the Ruess phenomenon will be enthralled with Roberts' review of the young man's biography, the stature of his artistic achievements and unrealized potential, and efforts to find and eventually memorialize him. Likened by critics to a John Muir-in-the-making, Ruess recorded his 1930s rambles in the desert Southwest in diaries, letters, poems, woodcuts, and watercolors. Perceptively noting Ruess' emotional and aesthetic maturation in his body of work, Roberts rues gaps in it caused by materials gone missing, which paradoxically deepen the Ruess mystery. Weighing various theories on his disappearance, Roberts skillfully combines the missing-person story with fair appraisals of Ruess. This is sure to appeal to fans of wilderness wanderers.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
The definitive biography of Everett Ruess, the artist, writer, and eloquent celebrator of the wilderness whose bold solo explorations of the American West and mysterious disappearance in the Utah desert at age twenty have earned him a large and devoted cult following.

“Easily one of [Roberts’s] best . . . thoughtful and passionate . . . a compelling portrait of the Ruess myth.”—Outside


Wandering alone with burros and pack horses through California and the Southwest for five years in the early 1930s, on voyages lasting as long as ten months, Ruess became friends with photographers Edward Weston and Dorothea Lange, swapped prints with Ansel Adams, took part in a Hopi ceremony, learned to speak Navajo, and was among the first "outsiders" to venture deeply into what was then (and to some extent still is) largely a little-known wilderness. When he vanished without a trace in November 1934, Ruess left behind thousands of pages...
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