A GRIP ON THE MANE OF LIFE
The Authorized Biography of Earl Shaffer
by David Donaldson and Maurice Forrester
This long-awaited book is now available and can be ordered online from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Dave Donaldson began work on the book during Earl's last years before his passing in 2002, and eventually joined forces with Appalachian Trail activist Maurice Forrester to bring it to completion. The book was published by the Appalachian Trail Museum in 2014.
Dave was Earl's hiking companion at the end of his 1998 50th anniversary thru-hike of the AT, and was authorized by Earl to write his biography. Countless hours of tape recordings of Earl telling his story were combined with extensive research and interviews with people who knew Earl throughout his life. This book reveals many insights about Earl and how he lived his life before and after his landmark 1948 first successful thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.