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Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement
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Coyotes and Town Dogs: Earth First! and the Environmental Movement

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  9 reviews
From tree-spiking old-growth forests to cracking desert dams, Earth First! redefined environmentalism in America. Susan Zakin's fast-paced tale of these scruffy radicals and their suit-and-tie counterparts in Washington, D.C., has been described as an unholy marriage of Hunter S. Thompson and Tom Wolfe. The hipster cowboys who founded Earth First! were the first people to ...more
Paperback, 483 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by University of Arizona Press (first published 1993)
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Entertaining and illuminating about the dynamics of the environmental movement of the 1980s. The book does suffer a bit from the selective research and clear biases of the author.
Very good history of Earth First! before they got taken over by politically correct left coast weenies. Earth First! was very cool back in the day and they got things done without compromise when mainstream conservation groups couldn't or wouldn't. Lots of interesting stuff on Dave Foreman and other well known Earth Firsters as well as other environmental groups and activists, plus info on the Judi Barr bombing as well as the FBI's methods of infiltration when they targetted Dave Foreman in thei ...more
Susan Zakin really got to know the key players in the early EF! movment, and tells us about their lives in great detail--sometimes too much, as it can be hard to remember all the names involved through the decades that this book covers. It inspires me to get more active in the movement and gives some good monkeywrenching ideas. There's a long chapter on Ed Abbey, in which I learned about his sexist tendencies, but through it all he's still an utterly likeable person. Hoping for an EF! resurgence ...more
Out of all the inspiring literature that exists for environmentalists, this is one that I consider the best. Susan Zakin's account of the genesis of the Earthfirst movement is thorough and even handed without being dogmatic. Her writing is engaging, funny, and fits well with the feel of the movement. The focus of the book is 1970s-1980s EarthFirst before it became a totally lame skeleton of what it once was. Definite must read for anyone who cares about preserving wild America.
Pull up some survey stakes, drink a beer, and read this book.

Zakin spins an entertaining story of the rise and ultimate fall from grace of one of the most influential environmental organizations of our time. The book emphasis is clearly on Foreman and his cronies and their hard-drinking, take-no-prisoner stand on protecting wilderness. If you're interested in a detailed look inside the personalities that created and shaped Earth First!, then this is your book.
dropped this one too when i went away from the summer. it's a very good history of how the American environmental movement formed in the last half of the 20th century. it addresses the role of enviornmentalists in affecting environmental policy. I hope to finish it sometime but my room mate just moved and took it with him.
the writing crackles but the subject gets depressing as everybody gets bogged down by personal politics and the effort becomes ineffectual.
This is a good account of some of the main characters involved in the Earth First! movement see Dave Foreman.
Dave Cozzens

Interesting expose on the drug and alcohol driven environmental movement and its flawed heroes.
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