Anyone who is interested in the history of environmental thought, New York, publishing, or America in general will find the book interesting. Bryant is arguably one of the most important Americans of the 19th century. Muller makes the point in his book that Bryant created what it meant to be American. He helped to define and refine American culture through his publications and through his elevation of mainstream American intellectualism. He also helped to start the American environmental movement first through his artistic romanticism and then through his support of individuals like John Muir.
The book is incredibly well researched with ample footnotes as well as details that are new to those interested in Bryant and 19th century history. Some unfortunate historical biographies become unreadable when authors take such a detailed approach. Not so in this case. Muller is an excellent writer and I did not find my interest flagging.
In a time when American culture is deeply splintered, this book serves as a reminder of how one person can improve the intellectual life of a nation.
Check out my original review here.