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Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run: A Call to Those Who Would Save the Earth

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This is the testament of one of the few authentic sages of our time. Brower's voice is passionate, perfectly cadenced, humorous, and very wise. And original: while most writers point to where we are, this one draws the map.?Edward O. Wilson, author, "The Diversity of Life and Naturalist"Credited with galvanizing an entire generation of environmentalists in the 60's, David Brower, the highly respected "archdruid" of the modern environmental movement, recalls with wit and wisdom his 50 years of controversial activism and offers an inspired strategy for the next generation of "those who would save the Earth."

In this intelligent and engaging chronicle of his years as an agitatator for the planet, Brower points out the irony that since the first Earth Day 25 years ago, we've lost one-seventh of the world's productive land to pollution, clearcutting, and pavement-and our population has doubled! From the politics of preserving the environment and how to use New York-style PR to save tigers and dolphins, to reengineering cities, the future of hypercars, and his vision for the Earth Corps, Brower takes us on a sweeping journey of what has been and what could be if we apply CPR (Conservation, Preservation, Restoration) to our wounded world. Printed on entirely tree-free kenaf paper, "Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run" follows its own prescription for saving the world's forests.


CPR for the Earth: An Invitation


1. Seeing and Remembering

2. Climbing Mountains

3. The Bristlecone Pine

4. Visions of a Wild Century


5. Havens

6. Cities with Boundaries

7. Eco-Preserves

8. Forest Revolution

9. More Monks

10. Hypercars


11. A World Restored

12. Making a Difference

13. The CPR Service

14. What will it Cost?

15. The Cure for What Ails Us


16. Where the Wilderness Is

17. Listening to Mountains

18. Rachel Carson's Pelicans

19. Neat Tricks


20. The Third Planet: Operating Instructions

21. Unwise Misuse

22. Rule Number 6 Revisited

23. Let Heaven and Nature Sing

24. For Those Who Would Save the Earth

208 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1995

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About the author

David Brower

59 books10 followers
David Ross Brower was a prominent environmentalist and the founder of many environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club Foundation, the John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, Friends of the Earth (1969), the League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute (1982), North Cascades Conservation Council, and Fate of the Earth Conferences. From 1952 to 1969 he served as the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, and served on its board three times: from 1941–1953; 1983–1988; and 1995-2000. As a younger man, he was a prominent mountaineer.

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5 stars
53 (41%)
4 stars
46 (36%)
3 stars
24 (18%)
2 stars
4 (3%)
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0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews
Profile Image for James Garlits.
10 reviews
April 12, 2019
Great book, awful formatting

This wonderful book by the Archdruid is marred by the awful formatting. It is like a stack of newspapers left out in the rain. The person who allowed it to be uploaded to Amazon should be stripped and hosed down with ice water.
Profile Image for Kate.
649 reviews96 followers
October 9, 2007
First of all, when he was alive, David sat on the dividing line between amazing visionary and total nutcase. He has these absolutely crazy ideas about saving the environment that are so audacious that they made me laugh outloud. On the other hand, he was so full of hope and such a dedicated activist for the planet, that you gotta love him.
Profile Image for Sherry Tamone.
260 reviews1 follower
November 29, 2017
I read this book about 20 years ago and it's a book every person should read to remind us of how special our planet is. Browser was a home grown environmentalists and in his view an earth with 500 million people is a sustainable planet. Over that we need to work very hard not to destroy all that is available. Rereading this book renews my goal to live more simply
245 reviews5 followers
January 4, 2016
This was like having a long random rambling conversation with David Brower. I enjoyed it because I've never read / heard him in his own words, and he is one of the founders of modern environmentalism. He has many great pithy quotes. But they were buried in a lot of disconnected and random discussions. Probably more a fault of the editor / co-author though. Definitely worth a read for people interested in still having an earth around in 50 or so years.
11 reviews1 follower
July 29, 2018
"Don't forget Rule Number 6 [don't take yourself too seriously.] And have a good time saving the world, or you're just going to depress yourself." - D.B.

David Brower's 1995 novel (part memoir, part essay collection) reflects on his time with the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. While I beg to differ on a few points (feminists DO have a sense of humor, thank you) the novel serves as a good reminder as to why protecting wilderness is worthwhile - and vital.
Profile Image for Corey Norton.
10 reviews2 followers
November 5, 2022
I've read quite a few books on environmentalism lately, but this one in particular fills a gap that many of the others had left unfilled. The environmental movement has always had ethos and logos on its side, and many of the environmental books I've read lately (having been mostly written by scientists) leaned heavily on this more pragmatic and scientific approach to getting the point across. But the pathos of it all is equally (if not more) important in this fight. It's not enough to make people understand. You have to make them care. Brower delivers less on the science and more on the heavy emotions at play in this fight. This book is not an explanation of what we're doing wrong and how it will affect us, but a passionate call to action. One that is still just as critically important today as when it was written decades ago.
Profile Image for Chris Meads.
648 reviews10 followers
September 19, 2020
This was an interesting book about David Brower who was one of the greatest environmentalists of our time. He tells it like it is when trying to keep the wildness of our lands.

The reason why I gave it a 2 instead of a 4 or 5 i because of the many typos and the typeset--some pages were half printed on and then continued to the next page. Also the ink was faint throughout and hard to read at times.
74 reviews
November 20, 2021
Exquisitely written memoir of Brower's environmental work including anecdotes of both his successes and failures. He introduces readers to many others in the environmental movement giving them a wide grasp of its history.
Profile Image for MsBrie.
226 reviews6 followers
May 24, 2007
This is a fabulous book that makes a person want to jump out of bed and save the earth. Brower is one of the founding fathers of the environmental movement (up on top with Aldo Leopold and John Muir). In this book Brower reflects on his successes and failures as an environmentalist. He also offers solutions as to how our society can help the earth. This is an easy read and a worthy one. If you’re an environmentalist, looking for some inspiration, check this out.
Profile Image for Scott Bischke.
Author 6 books24 followers
May 29, 2012
Though I read this long ago, a bit tough not to give it a 5 when I see a dozen bookmarks of pages with bits of wisdom I wanted to recall. An example:
To often in what we do, we fail to consider the two most important things: the cost to the future, and the cost to the Earth. We can be very clever, we humans, but sometimes not so smart.
---pg 16---
12 reviews
November 26, 2008
The subtitle: a call to save the earth, gives the best description. As an early environmental leader, the successes and failures of the movement are written to give a guide to what must be done. It is very well written and easier to read and understand than many environmental messages.
March 7, 2015
This book is like a Chicken Soup for the Environmental Soul. It heals and invigorates those who may not have known they needed it.

I will come back to Brower's teachings again and again...I should've bought the hard cover!
Profile Image for Karen.
252 reviews
November 2, 2015
I did learn from this presentation. I did not like how some of the information was handled. I thought the book could have been written more eloquently. Mr. Brower had a lot to offer, but I found the book to be crude and unrefined.
Profile Image for Kevin M..
Author 2 books11 followers
June 10, 2010
Knowledgeable, funny, and well versed. Sometimes, I got lost in the narrative, but he pulled me back again. It took some time to coax the read out of me, but when I did, I was satisfied.
108 reviews
July 25, 2010
A great history from the founder of the Sierra Club. Instructive to learn about the early roots of one of the world's greatest environmental luminaries.
17 reviews
March 19, 2018
An easy and enjoyable read for those who know the cited literature and events. This book is a great way to soak up some sage advice from renowned environmentalist, David Brower. The writing style is very conversational and reads as if you're having a fireside chat with your grandfather. Additionally, Brower's dry wit peppers the book with many of the same types of jokes that one would expect from the writings of Edward Abbey and other eco-peers of that era. I couldn't stop reading and polished it off in two days.
Displaying 1 - 18 of 18 reviews

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