Kevin Fedarko

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June 2014

Kevin Fedarko lives in northern New Mexico and works as a part-time river guide in Grand Canyon National Park. In addition to his travel narratives in Outside, where he worked as a senior editor, Fedarko’s work has appeared in Esquire, National Geographic Adventure, and other publications, and has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing in 2004 and 2006. Fedarko was a staff writer at Time magazine from 1991 to 1997, where his work helped garner an Overseas Press Club Award for a story on the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. Fedarko earned a Masters of Philosophy in Russian history at Oxford in 1990. His 2013 release, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon, won a NOB ...more

Average rating: 4.4 · 4,382 ratings · 637 reviews · 3 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Emerald Mile: The Epic ...

4.40 avg rating — 4,372 ratings — published 2013
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The Hidden Canyon: A River ...

4.28 avg rating — 85 ratings — published 1977 — 5 editions
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The Grand Canyon: Between R...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings
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Kevin Fedarko is now friends with Angie Dokos
The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko
"An informative, compelling, amusing, lyrical and, yes, even spiritual narrative on the magnetic attraction of one of the most perfectly beautiful works of nature on this planet...and a cautionary warning of the risks to which it is even now, more..." Read more of this review »
The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko
"This book had a lot more to it than I expected. Having only read an excerpt in Outside magazine a few months ago, I thought the book would be entirely about the story of the speed run of the Emerald Mile; it was so much more. I learned so much abo..." Read more of this review »
The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko
"In the tradition of Kon Tiki or Touching the Void, The Emerald Mile is a story of adventure that transcends most writing of extreme exploits. What makes the book so compelling is the broader narrative - this is not so much a book about a rafting t..." Read more of this review »
More of Kevin's books…
“The black stream, catching on a sunken rock,   Flung backward on itself in one white wave,     And the white water rode the black forever. —ROBERT FROST”
Kevin Fedarko, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

“But they have preserved an aspect of the American persona that is uniquely vital to the health of this republic. Among many other things, those dirtbag river runners uphold the virtue of disobedience: the principle that in a free society, defiance for its own sake sometimes carries value and meaning, if only because power in all of its forms—commercial, governmental, and moral—should not always and without question be handed what it demands.”
Kevin Fedarko, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

“From every direction, the place is under assault—and unlike in the past, the adversary is not concentrated in a single force, such as the Bureau of Reclamation, but takes the form of separate outfits conducting smaller attacks that are, in many ways, far more insidious. From directly above, the air-tour industry has succeeded in scuttling all efforts to dial it back, most recently through the intervention of Arizona’s senators, John Kyl and John McCain, and is continuing to destroy one of the canyon’s greatest treasures, which is its silence. From the east has come a dramatic increase in uranium-mining claims, while the once remote and untrammeled country of the North Rim now suffers from an ever-growing influx of recreational ATVs. On the South Rim, an Italian real estate company recently secured approval for a massive development whose water demands are all but guaranteed to compromise many of the canyon’s springs, along with the oases that they nourish. Worst of all, the Navajo tribe is currently planning to cooperate in constructing a monstrous tramway to the bottom of the canyon, complete with a restaurant and a resort, at the confluence of the Little Colorado and the Colorado, the very spot where John Wesley Powell made his famous journal entry in the summer of 1869 about venturing “down the Great Unknown.” As vexing as all these things are, what Litton finds even more disheartening is the country’s failure to rally to the canyon’s defense—or for that matter, to the defense of its other imperiled natural wonders. The movement that he and David Brower helped build is not only in retreat but finds itself the target of bottomless contempt. On talk radio and cable TV, environmentalists are derided as “wackos” and “extremists.” The country has swung decisively toward something smaller and more selfish than what it once was, and in addition to ushering in a disdain for the notion that wilderness might have a value that extends beyond the metrics of economics or business, much of the nation ignorantly embraces the benefits of engineering and technology while simultaneously rejecting basic science.”
Kevin Fedarko, The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon

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