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"A stalwart biography...if the A.T. were a musical, this would be its playbill."—The New York Times "Thru-hiking memoirs may be the current rage, but they wouldn’t exist without the passion and fortitude of the individuals outlined here... VERDICT: For readers interested in the outdoors. The complicated and colorful people who brought the AT to life deliver a distinctive view of its creation."—Library Journal "Combining interesting biographies with the past century’s growth of environmentalism, D’Anieri will satisfy aficionados of both."—Booklist, STARRED "In this engrossing debut, urban planning professor D’Anieri takes a breezy trek through the century-long history of the Appalachian Trail...In genial prose, D’Anieri captures the trail’s majesty and its power to inspire those who ramble on it. Hikers will be captivated by the rich history, as well as those in need of inspiration for their next escape." —Publishers Weekly “Superbly rendered biographies of the adventurers who were instrumental in conceiving, building, popularizing, and sustaining the storied Appalachian Trail….[D’Anieri’s] character studies are uniformly fascinating, as readers learn far more than expected about these obsessive, sometimes cranky creators….An incisive take on an American treasure that shines with illuminating detail and insight.”—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED "For those of us who live with wild places of the American East, the AT is more than a line on a map—as this book makes clear, it's jagged path is the EKG of our heart's desires. And if you've read A Walk in the Woods, this volume is worth it for the depiction of Bill Bryson alone!" —Bill McKibben, author of Wandering Home "Written in a voice somehow both erudite and brisk, this history deepens our understanding of this most beloved belt of wild land. Every hiker of the Appalachian mountains—or any mountains at all, really—will be fascinated by this book." —Robert Moor, author of the best-selling On Trails: An Exploration “Philip D’Anieri has found a new and inspiring way to tell the story of one of the American environmental movement’s crowning achievements….This book throws new light on a cherished institution and enlarges our sense of what the American environmental movement can accomplish.” —Robert Fishman, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan “Philip D’Anieri’s tour de force fills a gap in Appalachian Trail literature that we didn’t even know was there. By stringing together historical narratives so as to explore the trail’s family tree, he constructs the AT as a living entity worthy of its own biography. This book should appeal as much to history buffs as it does to trail crew, thru-hikers and other AT devotees.” —John Seibert Farnsworth, author of Nature Beyond Solitude: Notes from the Field —