Brad Feld

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Book: The Monkey Wrench Gang

Jul 09, 2006
Category Books

I usually clobber a book every other day when I’m in Homer.  Last week was a slow week because of a family health issue that turned our world upside down for two days (all is ok now) and some friends that visited the past few days. 

I just finished The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey.  It was awesome.  This is one of the classics that helped start the environment activism movement and imprinted the phrase monkeywrenching in the minds of many people.  While it was written in 1975, it doesn’t seem dated at all – in fact, if anything – it was easy to transport myself back to the time when I was 10 and getting hauled around in the back of my parents’ Vista Cruiser station wagon across Texas, Colorado, and New Mexico.

While I don’t support the approach to environmental activism suggested by the book, it’s provocative and – if you can get your head back into 1975 – powerfully revealing about how things might (and – in many ways have) unwound over the last 30 years.  Abbey’s writing is brilliant (I guess it’s time to read a few more of his books), and stood out in stark contrast to An Inconvenient Truth.