[2015 Reprint] Roger Tory Peterson—the Renaissance man who taught Americans the joy of watching birds—also invented the modern field guide. His 1934 landmark Field Guide to the Birds was the first book designed to go outdoors and help people identify the elements of nature. This self-proclaimed “student of nature” combined spectacular writing with detailed illustrations to ultimately publish many other books, winning every possible award and medal for natural science, ornithology, and conservation. Peterson also traveled the world, giving lectures on behalf of the National Audubon Society and, despite his self-effacing demeanor, becoming recognized as the key force to alerting the public to the importance of preserving nature. There are now an estimated 70 million birdwatchers in the United States.
For this meticulously detailed biography, Rosenthal has interviewed more than a hundred of Peterson’s family, friends, and associates to create a fully rounded portrait of this hero of the conservation movement. Never-before-seen photographs enhance this intimate portrayal.
Elizabeth J. Rosenthal (www.petersonbird.com) has published birding articles in Bird Watcher’s Digest, New Jersey Audubon, and Snowy Egret. She is the author of the acclaimed His Song: The Musical Journey of Elton John. A longtime New Jersey civil servant, she lives in Burlington, New Jersey.