Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951-1989

Overview

Edward Abbey was an anarchist, activist, philosopher, and the spiritual father of the environmental movement. He was also a passionate journal keeper, a man who filled page after page with notes, philosophical musings, character sketches, illustrations, musical notations, and drawings. His "scribbling," as he called it, began in 1948, when he served as a motorcycle MP in postwar Italy, and continued until his death in 1989, totaling twenty-one volumes.

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Overview

Edward Abbey was an anarchist, activist, philosopher, and the spiritual father of the environmental movement. He was also a passionate journal keeper, a man who filled page after page with notes, philosophical musings, character sketches, illustrations, musical notations, and drawings. His "scribbling," as he called it, began in 1948, when he served as a motorcycle MP in postwar Italy, and continued until his death in 1989, totaling twenty-one volumes.

Iconoclast, activist, philosopher, and spiritual father of the environmental movement, the author of The Monkeywrench Gang was also an avid journal keeper. Here Abbey's longtime friend David Petersen showcases the best of these journals, complete with Abbey's philosophical musings, notes, character sketches, and illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ending with an entry written 12 days before his 1989 death at age 60, the diaries of the late environmentalist and novelist (The Monkeywrench Gang) are adolescent in spirit, with all the virtues and vices that word implies. Abbey is capable of startling self-righteousness; his fulminations against writers he considers second-rate seem to be motivated as much by jealousy as by genuine bewilderment at his rivals' success. Yet such moments are cut with welcome self-mockery: He calls himself ``E. Abbey, famous unknown author.'' Though he traveled over the world, he finds his spiritual home in the American Southwest, and some of his most moving writing here pays lush homage to the austere landscape or lashes out at those poised to destroy it. Abbey the lover is as vocal as the moralist: exuberantly priapic tributes to one woman after another fill these pages. Petersen, a freelance writer and environmentalist, was a longtime friend of ``Cactus Ed.'' Illustrated with Abbey's drawings. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Notorious writer Abbey (The Monkeywrench Gang, Desert Solitaire) kept a journal from the age of 19 until a few days before his death in 1989. Selected and edited by friend and environmental writer Petersen, the entries included here give valuable insight into an incredibly complex man. Beginning in Europe and skipping around the desert Southwest, the journals follow the enigmatic, opinionated Abbey as he creates many enemies and legion of fans over the course of a lifetime. Credited with originating the concept of eco-terrorism in defense of his beloved Western wilderness, Abbey emerges as a misunderstood loner who needed a delicate balance of companionship and freedom to exist. Highlights include candid thoughts on his peers, ongoing feuds with reviewers, and original drawings by Abbey himself. Petersen adds helpful insights and bracketed comments. Essential for all nature, regional, and literary biography collections.-Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Booknews
Abbey's longtime friend David Petersen has selected the best from among the seminal eco-radical's 20 volumes of previously unpublished journals, illustrated with Abbey's own sketches. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From Barnes & Noble
These "scribblings" trace Abbey's life as an anarchist, activist, philosopher, & environmentalist, chronicling his travels, his many loves and marriages, and his lifelong struggle to preserve the southwestern wilderness.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555662875
  • Publisher: Big Earth Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2003
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 1,403,583
  • Product dimensions: 7.88 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.11 (d)

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