Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World

Greenpeace: How a Group of Ecologists, Journalists, and Visionaries Changed the World

by Rex Weyler
     
 

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Greenpeace: The Inside Story is the first comprehensive eye-witness account of the human drama behind the creation of the world's largest direct-action environmental group. Greenpeace founder and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Rex Weyler brings us the amazing story of an idea that changed the world, and the adventures, clashes, pitfalls and heroics of

Overview

Greenpeace: The Inside Story is the first comprehensive eye-witness account of the human drama behind the creation of the world's largest direct-action environmental group. Greenpeace founder and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Rex Weyler brings us the amazing story of an idea that changed the world, and the adventures, clashes, pitfalls and heroics of the people who fought for it.

The book reveals the roots of ecology and the influence on Greenpeace of legends such as Gandhi, Einstein, Rachel Carson, and Martin Luther King Jr. The story is enhanced through cameo appearances by the CIA, Allen Ginsberg, Bonnie Raitt, Brigitte Bardot, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, The Grateful Dead, Pope Paul VI, Courtney Love, and Richard Nixon.

Greenpeace has 4.5 million dues-paying members around the world, and many millions more supporters.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With its blend of a participant's firsthand insight, a journalist's concern for facts and a novelist's spirited style, this inside story of the early years of Greenpeace is an engaging, brisk and at times emotional read. Weyler (Blood of the Land) was active in the organization almost from its first days, when a disparate group of Quakers, journalists, ecologists and displaced Vietnam-era war resisters coalesced in Vancouver in 1969-1970. "Green" came first, as activists focused on oil spills, pulp mills and other environmental concerns, but "peace" quickly followed, with news of U.S. plans to detonate a one-megaton nuclear bomb on Amchitka Island, 4,000 miles northwest of Vancouver. That plan galvanized the group into renting a fishing boat to confront the American bomb tests, and thus was born the Greenpeace tactic of "bearing witness": observing, recording and attempting to disrupt environmentally destructive acts, from nuclear testing to whale harpooning, from clubbing baby seals to indiscriminate logging. By 1979, the blend of passion, whimsy, mysticism and media savvy of the original Greenpeace Foundation had evolved with no dearth of personality clashes and bruised egos into the more pragmatic, businesslike Greenpeace International, which Weyler cofounded. And that's where Weyler ends his riveting account of an organization that has matured into a worldwide direct-action group. Despite its growth and its age, Greenpeace adheres to the principles Weyler describes so vibrantly: as recently as August, two dozen antilogging Greenpeace protestors were arrested in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. (Oct.) Forecast: With several million members in more than 40 countries, there's a ready-made audience for this surprisingly lively title. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A strumming, deep, and colorful history of the activist organization from 1970 to 1979, by one of its founders. Weyler's finely crafted narrative explores with elegant pacing and graceful humility the origins of Greenpeace and its activities over its first decade, echoing the eco-political times it passes through. What launched this armada of ecological awareness, he explains, was a fusion of ecological and disarmament concerns that had long been brewing. He speaks of the group's mentors, people like former Navy captain Albert Bigalow, who sailed a boat into harm's way as far back as 1958, and groups like the Society for Pollution and Environmental Control, which in 1969 organized the first direct action against underground nuclear-bomb testing on Amchitka Island. Weyler chronicles the early work of Greenpeace, from the origin of that indelible conjunctive name linking concern for the environment with rejection of militarism to its shift in the focus of its protests from nuclear testing to the killing of marine mammals. The group's actions against the clubbing of baby seals in Newfoundland prompted "hate letters and more crushed Greenpeace buttons from across Canada," writes Weyler of the first nationwide negative reaction to their tactics. He details the guerilla-theater strategy of running Zodiacs in front of giant Russian whalers, painting seal pups to destroy their commercial value, confronting the French military, and all the other Gandhian nonviolent actions the group undertook and captured on film. Their footage of ecological and political brutality shocked world opinion and situated Greenpeace as an especially media-savvy organization. Importantly, Weyler interprets the group'sevolving philosophy, most notoriously evinced in the 1977 break with Paul Watson (who "tended to push the edge of nonviolence"), and the drift away from its early elemental spiritualism into the now well-known reliance on a bureaucratic juggernaut of mass-mailing and legalistic wrangling. This rousing story could inspire a whole new grassroots force. Agent: Andrew Blauner
From the Publisher

“A masterpiece. What a colossal piece of work! Weyler has captured the absolute peak experience of it all, the personal battles, the movement of history, and the global breakthroughs.” —Robert Hunter, Environment Specialist and first president of Greenpeace

“Rex Weyler's Greenpeace is a gripping yarn about brave people in small boats - but this time the story is true. These people changed the world.” —Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation and Practical Ethics

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781623367183
Publisher:
Rodale Press, Inc.
Publication date:
06/22/2015
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
1,331,720
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Rex Weyler was co- founder and director of the original Greenpeace Foundation from 1974-1979. His photographs and environmental essays have appeared in numerous magazines including the New York Times, Oceans, Smithsonian, Rolling Stone, New Age Journal, and National Geographic. Weyler received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for his native American history, Blood of the Land and co-authored the spiritual classic, Chop Wood, Carry Water.

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