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An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas
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An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  169 ratings  ·  35 reviews
When Diane Wilson, fourth-generation shrimp-boat captain and mother of five, learns that she lives in the most polluted county in the United States, she decides to fight back. She launches a campaign against a multibillion-dollar corporation that has been covering up spills, silencing workers, flouting the EPA, and dumping lethal ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride into ...more
Hardcover, 391 pages
Published September 15th 2005 by Chelsea Green Publishing Company (first published 2005)
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I'm rereading because this book is so compelling and layered that you (or I) have to read it more than once. Even though it's autobiographical, Unreasonable Woman is more like a novel than non-fiction—it has a suspenseful, dramatic narrative that builds tension, all in that unique and powerful voice. You are drawn into her world: the rough-edged Gulf Coast, peopled by unforgettable characters, poverty-stricken but independent.

Like songwriter/singer Jo Carol Pierce says,
"You don't want it to en
Pat Cummings
None of us knew what a real paycheck looked like, but to Momma a real job was anything that didn't have nothing to do with the bay, because everybody knew if you wanted to make a dime on the bay, you'd have to bleed real hard. ...bad times were like the salted peanuts shrimpers ate with their beer...

Diane Wilson's weather-beaten face was just another in a crowd of shrimpers working the bays and bayous of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterways, out of Seadrift, Texas, Calhoun County. Her shrimp-boat was
Darren Burton
With the discovery that her "piddlin' little county on the Gulf Coast" led the nation in toxic emissions, Diane Wilson fought friends, family, local politicians, corrupt state regulators, legislators, senators, and the multi-billion dollar company Formosa Plastic. This leader of Taiwan's petrochemical industry had environmental practices so appalling that twenty thousand Taiwanese came out under threat of police violence to protest its proposed new $8 billion dollar complex. That's how Formosa d ...more
Eric Wright
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There is a prologue to this book which is written with extreme eloquence. In fact, so eloquent is Sabotage as to question from what Hemingway novel was it borrowed. However, the body of the book is first person colloquial, giving a collaborative impression of Mark Twain and Michael Connelly, from the shores of The Gulf. The story is both inspirational and sad. Inspirational for what the determination of one person can achieve, even when she steps outside the conventions of her community. Sad in ...more
I had heard good things about this book, and it lived up to its reputation. This is an autobiography of an amazing woman - a role model for all people who are concerned about the health and safety of their families in industrial America. Her tenacity, creative solutions, and effort to educate herself on the issues and the processes was an inspiration.

My only criticism is that there are a lot of colloquialisms and Texan grammar & slang to get through. I got used to the conversational style, a
This book is a must read. I loved this story because it is a classic tale of the little guy fighting a behemoth monster. The little guy is Diane, mother of five who goes through incredible challenges to protect her home and the environment. The monster? Everyone else it seems, starting out Formosa, but hen she soon discovers how invested everyone around her is into not rocking the boat, even if it means their children born with birth defects or they die of cancer. Everyone is too invested in the ...more
When I first started reading this book I didn't think I would like it that much but the author really pulled me into the story. I liked the writing style, her story, her connection to the place of South Texas. It is impressive what a woman with really nothing (poor shrimper in southern texas) can do just by sheer force of will and determination. It's a very Erin Brocavich story about a woman going up against a huge polluting corporation as well as all the people swayed by corporate money fightin ...more
Colleen Mulrooney
I'm amazed by the determination of this woman to fight for what we all know is right, in spite of being abandoned and hated by those who she was helping the most! It's an amazing story that anyone who cares about our "mother earth" will love reading. By the end I was cheering and crying . . . now taking a moment to listen to the birds and thank all the Diane Wilson's and Rachel Carson's of the world for my clean air, water, birds, fish, crabs, frog, organic veggies/fruit, and good health!!
A good story about a simple woman who was compelled to become an enviromental activist to try and save the area that she called home. Read it and weep for our enviroment especially the Gulf of Mexico where many chemical companies are located. The political corruption and the failure of federal agencies to do their jobs is especially discouraging. Her courage and motivation is remarkable.
Oct 10, 2011 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: April, Margy, Megan, Angela
Recommended to Brian by: Accidental discovery
I really loved this book. Wilson is an incredibly brave soul, a person fully cognizant of the responsibility of the individual and determined to effect change. Hopefully, Wilson will make the trek to Austin sometime in the coming months, including a sit-down with the Junto reading group. I could recommend this book to everyone.

An ideal Capstone topic from an unreasonable woman.
I heard Diane Wilson speak at a conference a few years ago, and was completely struck by her level of conviction and willingness to sacrifice almost everything she had in order to protect her local waters. Her book didn't disappoint. At some times it was almost unbearable to read about setback after setback, but I had to keep reading to see how she would overcome the next challenge.
Summer reading at Fairfield since she'll be speaking on campus for Freshmen Convocation in September.

While the story is inspiring, I found her writing rambling and hard to follow at times. I also thought the book could have been about 100 pages shorter. Great story about a very average woman who made a great impact on her community, but the way it was told needed some work.
Jim Noyes
From a purely literature standpoint, this book is not terribly well written, could have been eddited better. And that's OK with me, for what you have is a totally unvarnished story, in her own words, of a woman with deep, strong convictions. A very brave lady, she describes in detail her struggle for environmental justice. A wonderful, wonderful book
Although I did not really enjoy reading this book - the author's somewhat stream-of-consciousness style was difficult for me to process - I learned alot about the difficulties of dealing with large companies and their environmental pollution. Diane Wilson has incredible drive and perseverance in her efforts to force companies to do right.
Kathy Smartt
Her first two books were better. They showed the need for environmental change and how Diane went about bringing that change to Calhoun County. This book, while interesting, dwelt more on her fight with local enforcement officers rather than on the serious environmental issues in her area.
This was an interesting true story!
Leah Hortin
DNF. Made it 10% of the way through. After reading a lot of glowing reviews and a praising foreward, I was stoked for this free kindle book but whomp, whomp. It fell totally flat. I didn't like the voice or the subject.
Diane Wilson is a startingly woman and a heck of a writer. The book has no Hollywood ending but fascinates and encourages despite the evil reality of Texas' love with industry and their flagrant destruction of natural resources.
Alma Abedul
The determination of one person can indeed challenge the perogatives of big money and the corruption of Texas' politics. Check out her new book, Holy Roller, to be released July 2008.
Tattered Cover Book Store
Author Rick Bass recomended this book as part of the Rocky Mountain Land Library's "A Reading List For the President Elect: A Western Primer for the Next Administration."
A fascinating true story about one woman's determined fight, with and without support, against pollution, big business, bureaucracy and corruption.
Protest activism at it's finest. Diane Wilson is a woman to be admired. Incredibly frustrating, yet inspiring, read for an environmentalist.
Diane Wilson transformed before my eyes from a shrimper/mother into a dogged environmentalist... wow! Well written, compelling read.
David Reber
Yes, one person can make a difference. Diane Wilson lived in the most polluted county in the country and decided to do something about it.
Jul 07, 2008 Janeen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: environmental activists and anyone wanting to know more about the issues
like most books, i didn't finish, but it is a great story of a woman who fought for clean water and responsible behavior from polluters.
Robyn V.
Dec 15, 2011 Robyn V. marked it as abandoned  ·  review of another edition
20% of the way through and I just have not been picking this up much to read it...and life is too short, I'm on to the next :)
Great story line, and I was rooting for her, but the writing was clunky and things moved along too slowly to keep my interest.
Probably one of the most inspiring books I've ever read! I love Diane Wilson!!
Sep 06, 2007 Margaret rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every hippie and yuppie
Great book about the birth and need for environmentalism.
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