Tree Spiker: From Earth First! to Lowbagging: My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action
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Tree Spiker: From Earth First! to Lowbagging: My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  41 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Lauded by some, despised by others, Mike Roselle is one of the most controversial figures in the crusade to protect the environment. Mike has succeeded in stopping a lumber project by spiking trees, struggled with death threats and the car bombing of fellow activist Judi Bari, endured countless days in jail, infiltrated the Nevada Test Site to delay nuclear bomb detonation...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by St. Martin's Press
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Joe
This book is a mini-autobiography of an environmental activist who was one of the people behind Earth First!.

It's always hard to judge someone from their autobiography, but the author avoids a lot of the problems that cause environmental activists (and activists of all types) to be largely ineffective: he focuses solely on non-violent activities; he is willing to stick with the cause he believes in even when it's inconvenient; he stays away from showy but insignificant actions in favor of more f...more
Ryan Mishap
I'm partial to partisan memoirs and autobiographies from people who were there doing the work, the protests, the struggles, and actually involved. There's an academic and ideological disdain for texts written by participants with a politics the establishment doesn't like, but I think that's where we can learn what was really going on.

That said, this isn't much of a memoir, though he takes us back to high school and the path through the late sixties and seventies that brought him into working on...more
sdw
If you want a crash course on the contemporary radical environmental movement, this book will give it to you. Josh Mahan (the credited ghost writer) does an excellent job in each chapter switching the tone to capture the zeitgeist of the organization discussed. We see Roselle move from co-founding Earth First! to co-founding the Rainforest Action Network and the Ruckus Society. If you are familiar with the history of U.S. environmentalism, you won't learn much. If you are not familiar with this...more
Joe
If you are looking for a nuanced, difficult to digest analytical discussion of recent and current approaches to environmental politics and action and the underlying ecological thought that informs that movement, then look elsewhere; Tree Spiker is not the book for you. This was not a jargon laced, put me to sleep treatise, but instead was a fun read that with some interesting stories about the environmental movement in the U.S.

Mike Roselle and Josh Mahan weave stories into more than a memoir, in...more
Nancy
I consider myself an environmentalist and know people who know Mike Roselle. I enjoyed this book and found it a fast paced interesting read. I'd hoped for a bit more detail on what happened in some campaigns but, considering that Mike is writing about allies who are still alive and working on some of the same issues, he was probably wise not to spend too much time analyzing what went wrong.

While my style is much more "main stream" than his, I understand that activists like Roselle are essential...more
Scott
A provocative and heartfelt memoir of an icon of radical environmentalism.
Brent
The author describes his book as essentially a collection of stories one might tell while gathered around the campfire with some friends. And much in line with this description, the book does generally follow after such a fashion.

I enjoyed the book for the outrageous stories it told and for the ways in which my perception of the environment and those who fight for it have changed. I was, however, aware of the less-than-stellar writing and editing while reading this book. To be conscious of this...more
Melody
Dec 12, 2009 Melody rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who isn't my dad
As wildly uneven as it is entertaining, sobering and scary- this inside look at the radical environmentalists really made me want to chain myself to something. Preferably in the rain.

Recommended, especially if you are (like I was) apt to characterize the Earth First! folk as reactionary terrorist jerks. This is another side of their story, and it deserves a fair hearing.
Lee
Interesting for the first-hand account, but Roselle doesn't exactly come off as a feminist here and he's not, pardon, the most brilliant reflector on events. Roselle makes very clear that despite his call for radical action, he doesn't advocate violent actions and favors civil disobedience.
Jennifer
Though the prose won't stand the test of time, this book provides a fascinating look into radical environmentalism. Roselle has a great story to tell. And I'm now following him on Facebook as he fights to end mountaintop removal mining. Definitely worth a read.
Glen
I had higher hopes for this one. It is not a cohesive work. Still has interesting points and I certainly give the author credit for his commitment to the cause.
Cherie
C Even with a ghost writer, this book failed to capture my attention. Rambling, all over the place, even confusing…still, Roselle has some interesting tales to tell.
Eduardo
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