On Trails: An Exploration

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Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award and the Pacific Northwest Book Award
The best outdoors book of the year. Sierra Club
A New York Times Bestseller

A Best Book of the Yearas chosen by The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, Amazon, National Post, New York, The Telegraph, Booklist, The Guardian Bookshop

From a debut talent whos been compared to Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, David Quammen, and Jared Diamond, On Trails is a wondrous exploration of how trails help us understand the worldfrom invisible ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet.

In 2009, while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of the next seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writingcombining the nomadic joys of Peter Matthiessen with the eclectic wisdom of Lewis Hydes The Gift.

Throughout, Moor reveals how this single topicthe oft-overlooked trailsheds new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanitys relationship with nature and technology shaped world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life?

Moor has the essayists gift for making new connections, the adventurers love for paths untaken, and the philosophers knack for asking big questions. With a breathtaking arc that spans from the dawn of animal life to the digital era, On Trails is a book that makes us see our world, our history, our species, and our ways of life anew.


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