Magazine article American Forests

Reviews -- the War against the Greens: The Wise Use Movement, the New Right, and Anti-Environmental Violence by David Helvarg

Magazine article American Forests

Reviews -- the War against the Greens: The Wise Use Movement, the New Right, and Anti-Environmental Violence by David Helvarg

Article excerpt

The War Against the Greens: The Wise Use Movement, the New Right, and Anti-Environmental Violence by David Helva The Sierra Club and Random House, San Francisco, CA (1994). 502 pages. Hardcover, ISBN 0-87156-459-9. $25.

Serious books about conservation and the environment seldom can compete with political exposes or biographies of double-agent CIA spies for excitement and mystery. This book is a clear exception. Award-winning journalist David Helvarg takes the reader on a fascinating trip across America in an in-depth investigation of the "wise use" movement. From personal interviews with key players in Washington, DC, to dusty backroads in Nevada, he tells a story of intrigue, violence, and political infighting that will change your view of what it means to be a conservationist, environmentalist, or resource manager. It is not a pretty story.

This thoughtful and thorough analysis is based on careful research, thousands of miles of travel to meet hundreds of key people, and visits to "wise use" environmental battlegrounds from Maine to Oregon. It is an effective mix of background history personal insights, and colorful descriptions of interviewees by a seasoned investigative reporter. From the office of Senator Robert Dole on the Hill to boisterous rallies in the Pacific Northwest, from the executive offices of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Sierra Club to the burned-out home of an environmental activist, Helvarg provides a vivid profile of the The War's combatants.

Pithy quotes are both humorous and disturbing, lending stark reality to an almost unbelievable story. But it is a convincing one, woven of the complex organizational linkages within the "wise use" movement and buttressed by hundreds of detailed reference notes.

After introducing the founding leaders, Helvarg describes the powerful coalition of special interests who support the movement--a collection of unlikely bedfellows such as the NRA, Farm Bureau, Heritage Foundation, major timber and mining corporations, resource trade associations, and even the Moonies (one of several inter) national players). …

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