John Clayton

John ClaytonTerm: Winter 2018




Montana freelance writer John Clayton spent a week at the Gifford Pinchot collection in the Library of Congress and three weeks at Grey Towers researching and writing his book Natural Rivals: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and the Movement for Public Lands (Pegasus, 2019). The book is a dual biography of Muir and Pinchot that recasts their rivalry as an engine for changing wider cultural perceptions of the meaning of public lands.



“From the well-appointed office in Scholar Tower, to the yoga classes and caramel porter on tap downtown, to the weekend visit to New York City and Gramercy Park, my stay at Grey Towers was productive and pleasurable. The staff was accommodating and the wi-fi dependable, but I had plenty of alone-time to ponder and write. Indeed as I completed the first draft of my two chapters on Pinchot’s life, I felt a bit like Gifford himself, when he wrote Breaking New Ground on these very grounds”


“Natural Rivals: John Muir, Gifford Piinchot, and the Creation of America’s Public Lands,” Pegasus Books, New York 2019.