Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group

John McPhee

John McPhee
Yolanda Whitman

John McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, and was educated at Princeton University and Cambridge University. His writing career began at Time magazine and led to his long association with The New Yorker, where he has been a staff writer since 1965. Also in 1965, he published his first book, A Sense of Where You Are, with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and in the years since, he has written nearly 30 books, including Oranges (1967), Coming into the Country (1977), The Control of Nature (1989), The Founding Fish (2002), Uncommon Carriers (2007), and Silk Parachute (2011). Encounters with the Archdruid (1972) and The Curve of Binding Energy (1974) were nominated for National Book Awards in the category of science. McPhee received the Award in Literature from the Academy of Arts and Letters in 1977. In 1999, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Annals of the Former World. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Pulitzer Prize Winner

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Yolanda Whitman

John McPhee

Books by the Author

Draft No. 4

Draft No. 4

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The long-awaited guide to writing long-form nonfiction by the legendary author and teacher

Draft No. 4 is an elucidation of the writer’s craft by a master practitioner. In a...

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Silk Parachute
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Silk Parachute

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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Uncommon Carriers
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Uncommon Carriers

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This is a book about people who drive trucks, captain ships, pilot towboats, drive coal trains, and carry lobsters through the air: people who work in freight transportation. John McPhee rides from...

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The Founding Fish
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The Founding Fish

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

John McPhee's twenty-sixth book is a braid of personal history, natural history, and American history, in descending order of volume. Each spring, American shad-Alosa sapidissima-leave the ocean...

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Annals of the Former World
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Annals of the Former World

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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A Sense of Where You Are
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A Sense of Where You Are

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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Irons in the Fire
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Irons in the Fire

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This acclaimed collection of essays begins with the title essay and a trip to Nevada, where, in the company of a brand inspector, John McPhee discovers that cattle rustling is not just history.

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The Ransom of Russian Art
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The Ransom of Russian Art

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In the 1960s and 1970s, an American professor of Soviet economics forayed on his own in the Soviet Union, bought the work of underground "unofficial" artists, and brought it out himself or arranged...

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The Second John McPhee Reader
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The Second John McPhee Reader

John McPhee; Introduced by David Remnick
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This second volume of The John McPhee Reader includes material from his eleven books published since 1975, including Coming into the Country, Looking for a Ship, The Control of Nature,...

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La Place de la Concorde Suisse
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La Place de la Concorde Suisse

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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Giving Good Weight
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Giving Good Weight

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

"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...

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The Curve of Binding Energy
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The Curve of Binding Energy

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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Assembling California
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Assembling California

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

At various times in a span of fifteen years, John McPhee made geological field surveys in the company of Eldridge Moores, a tectonicist at the University of California at Davis. The result of these...

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The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed
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The Deltoid Pumpkin Seed

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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The Headmaster
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The Headmaster

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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The Crofter and the Laird
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The Crofter and the Laird

John McPhee, illustrated by James Graves
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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,...

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Looking for a Ship
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Looking for a Ship

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This is an extraordinary tale of life aboard what may be one of the last American merchant ships. As the story begins, Andy Chase, who holds a license as a second mate is looking for a ship. In less...

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Coming into the Country
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Coming into the Country

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Coming into the Country is an unforgettable account of Alaska and Alaskans. It is a rich tapestry of vivid characters, observed landscapes, and descriptive narrative, in three principal segments...

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The Control of Nature
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The Control of Nature

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places where people are locked in combat with nature. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strageties...

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Rising from the Plains
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Rising from the Plains

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Rising from the Plains is John McPhee's third book on geology and geologists. Following Basin and Range and In Suspect Terrain, it continues to present a cross section of North...

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Table of Contents
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Table of Contents

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Table of Contents is a collection of eight pieces that range from Alaska to New Jersey, describing, for example, the arrival of telephones in a small village near the Arctic Circle and the...

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Heirs of General Practice
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Heirs of General Practice

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Heirs of General Practice is a frieze of glimpses of young doctors with patients of every age—about a dozen physicians in all, who belong to the new medical specialty called family practice....

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In Suspect Terrain
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In Suspect Terrain

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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

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The John McPhee Reader
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The John McPhee Reader

John McPhee; Edited with an Introduction by William L. Howarth
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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;...

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The Survival of the Bark Canoe
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The Survival of the Bark Canoe

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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Basin and Range
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Basin and Range

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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Levels of the Game
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Levels of the Game

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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A Roomful of Hovings and Other Profiles
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A Roomful of Hovings and Other Profiles

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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.

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Pieces of the Frame
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Pieces of the Frame

John McPhee
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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...

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The Pine Barrens
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The Pine Barrens

John McPhee, illustrated by James Graves
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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,...

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