Ranked as one of the top environmental books by critics, Susan Zakin's dramatic account of the radicals of Earth First! is told against the backdrop of American conservation. The cult classic revised and updated, with a new afterword by the author.
When Dave Foreman woke up staring down the gun barrels of FBI agents, he had traveled a long and winding road from Washington, D.C. lobbyist to leader of the country's most loved and hated radical environmental group. Susan Zakin tells the story of the radical environmental group Earth First! against the backdrop of the larger history of U.S. conservation, digging deep into a neglected corner of American history. Zakin's fast-paced narrative is thoughtful and occasionally lyrical, as she gives the conservation movement its rightful place in American history.
In this 25th Anniversary edition, updated and revised to reflect the challenges posed by the Trump administration, Zakin shows us that we've been here before, when previous presidents appointed corrupt officials to head the agencies tasked with protecting Americans' land, water, and health. What's different now is the widespread nature of corruption, which reaches to the highest levels of government. Widely adopted as a university text, Zakin's book has been called a primer on how to face our predicament with wit and courage.
1 The Education of an Environmentalist
2 EAST: Burn On
3 West: Phantoms
4 Coyotes and Town Dogs
5 West Meets East
6 Trouble Waiting to Happen
7 Desert Heart, Devil's Highway
8 "Dear Monkeyfucker"
9 The Road Show
10 Bart Rides Out
11 The Oregon Trail
12 The Crackdown
13 The Lost Boy
15 Splitting the Sheets
16 High Noon
About the Author
"Brilliant and irreverent, tough and funny [...] the most thorough and thoughtful survey of the American environmental movement."
– The Christian Science Monitor
"Zakin responds to this rowdy group in kind with her raucous, snappy, freewheeling narrative – a perfect fit with her subject [...] informative and serious as it is a delight to read, [Coyotes and Town Dogs] contains enough speech excerpts, thoughts, facts, and inspirations to call to action the next generation of environmental rowdies."
"Catches the rowdy, passionate utopianism of the first non-elite generation of environmentalists. They changed the game, and woke a lot of people up."
– Gary Snyder, Turtle Island, The Practice Of The Wild
"Reading Susan Zakin's Coyotes and Town Dogs, a sprawling, rollicking and, ultimately, melancholy history of Earth First!, is like spending a week around a campfire with its hard-core "buckaroos", drinking heroic quantities of beer, singing scatological songs and plotting the next foray into eco-sabotage."
– Philip Shabecoff, Los Angeles Times
"In crisp, clear and often sharply funny prose, Zakin alternates the Earth First! story with a knowledgeable overview of American environmentalism and judicious tidbits of gossip. It's a fascinating, sometimes hilarious, sometimes appalling tale. Whatever you think about Earth First!, this book may well change your mind."
– Colette Bancroft, Arizona Daily Star
"A primer on how to face our Earth's predicament with wit and courage."
– Bill Mckibben, Founder 350.org