John Muir was the prophet of a new order that looked to nature for guidance and inspiration. His legacy, along with creating national parks like Yosemite and Sequoia, was largely literary — the classics he left to posterity about the wonders of nature and its importance to mankind; indeed, to all life. That legacy, born and nurtured from sustained contact with nature, bore fruition during his life at the Strentzel ranch in Martinez.
Called the “Boy Socialist: and the “American Karl Marx,” Jack London succeeded so well as a writer under the capitalistic system that he could afford to build a “palace for his pigs,” to popularize the sport of surfing, and to show off his bridge of artificial teeth to huge crowds. In addition to being one of the highest paid writers of his time, Jack London also ran for Mayor of Oakland twice and was pushed to run for the presidency — all on the Socialist ticket.
The National Steinbeck Center is located at One Main Street in Salinas, California. The Center incorporates Steinbeck’s work into tactile, interactive exhibits. You can watch film excerpts, listen to recollections from Steinbeck’s family and friends, view Doc’s bed, braid The Red Pony’s mane, and feel the characters’ hats from Of Mice and Men.