Turner, Jack 1942–

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Turner, Jack 1942–

(John Scott Turner)


Born February 11, 1942. Education: Attended University of Colorado, Stanford University, and Cornell University.


Office—Exum Mountain Guides, S. Jenny Lake, P.O. Box 56, Grand Teton National Park, Moose, WY 83012.


Writer. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, teacher of philosophy; Exum Mountain Guides, Moose, WY, corporate president. Has over thirty-eight years of experience in mountain guiding, including expeditions to Pakistan, Peru, Nepal, China, Tibet, and India.


American Mountain Guide Association.


Whiting Writers' Award, Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation, 2007, for Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range; University of Utah, College of Humanities, Salt Lake City, visiting scholar, 2007—.


The Abstract Wild, University of Arizona Press (Tucson, AZ), 1996.

Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Travels in the Greater Yellowstone, Thomas Dunne Books; St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2008.


Jack Turner, born February 11, 1942, has more than thirty-eight years of experience in mountain guiding, including expeditions to Pakistan, Peru, Nepal, China, Tibet, and India. Turner attended the University of Colorado, Stanford University, and Cornell University before accepting a position teaching philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also served as a visiting scholar for the University of Utah's College of Humanities and is a member of the American Mountain Guide Association. Turner is a guide for the Grand Teton National Park in Moose, Wyoming, and is the Exum Mountain Guides' corporate president. Exum Mountain Guides, founded in 1929, offers mountaineering services for all experience levels. In addition to Turner's writing efforts and executive position in Exum Mountain Guides, he frequently appears on the company's season guide rosters.

Turner has authored several volumes of text regarding the outdoors and his experiences as a professional mountain guide and mountaineer. The Abstract Wild, published in 1996 by the University of Arizona Press, is Turner's first nonfiction book publication. A Publishers Weekly reviewer explained that the eight essays in Turner's book all focus on a common theme of how wildness "has been mediated, micromanaged and abstracted nearly out of existence." Turner, having been heavily influenced by his encounter with primitive writings and drawings while on an expedition in Utah, explains the disconnect between the modern populace and the natural world due in part to the proliferation of media coverage concerning nature. Drawing upon the teachings of classic scholars such as John Locke, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, and John Adams, Turner attempts to use standard academic models to support his theories regarding natural history and its relationship to man. The Publishers Weekly contributor stated that Turner has created a "manifesto defend[ing] the wild by passionately restoring its good Thoreauvian name." The Abstract Wild also contains information regarding environmental preservation and draws attention to the failures of modern society in balancing progress with retention of the natural landscape.

In 2007, Turner was awarded the Whiting Writers' Award by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation for his nonfiction book Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range. The book seeks to explain man's impact on nature and the importance of the wilderness. Stuart Luman, in a review for the Amicus Journal, stated: "The book is a testament to something that is as permanent as anything, a mountain wilderness, but also to a place that is vanishing." Turner spent most of his adult life in the Grand Teton Mountains, part of the Rocky Mountain Range in Wyoming, which is the subject of a great deal of his book's content. His observations and reactions to the landscape during a figurative one-year span provide details regarding the diverse "scenery, the abundant wildlife, and the variegated vegetation common to the area" stated Margaret Flanagan in a Booklist review. Moreover, a Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that Teewinot is "bursting with a sense of place" and "is a rewarding reading experience replete with ravishing observations of nature." The Publishers Weekly reviewer also noted that Teewinot includes "a compelling plea for preservation" and portrays "a respectful covenant" between the populace and animal habitat. Likewise, Travels in the Greater Yellowstone depicts Turner's experience in this wilderness and contains information regarding conservation and preservation of the natural habitat and the area's diverse wildlife. A Kirkus Reviews reviewer stated that the text "merits a wide audience" and observed that Turner is "plainspoken with respect to his enthusiasms" and "detestations." Turner includes rhetoric representative of his opinions regarding altered landscapes and makes clear his aspirations for a larger, protected park area. The text also includes detailed descriptions of the region's animal populations, vegetation, and topography. In a review for Booklist, George Cohen concluded that Turner's "plea for conservation is an urgent one."



Amicus Journal, September 22, 2000, Stuart Luman, review of Teewinot: A Year in the Teton Range, p. 37.

Booklist, June 1, 2000, Margaret Flanagan, review of Teewinot, p. 1838; February 15, 2008, George Cohen, review of Travels in the Greater Yellowstone, p. 24.

Environmental Ethics, March 22, 2000, Eric Katz, review of The Abstract Wild, p. 105.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2008, review of Travels in the Greater Yellowstone.

Library Journal, May 15, 2000, John McCormick, review of Teewinot, p. 117.

Publishers Weekly, August 26, 1996, review of The Abstract Wild, p. 91; May 22, 2000, review of Teewinot, p. 82.

Roundup, April 1, 1997, review of The Abstract Wild, p. 29.


Exum Mountain Guides Web site,http://www.exumguides.com/ (July 7, 2008), author profile.

Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Web site,http://www.whitingfoundation.org/ (July 7, 2008), author profile.

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