Tree Spiker: From Earth First! to Lowbagging: My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action [NOOK Book]

Overview

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, helped put a gas mask on Mount Rushmore’s George Washington, and aided actor Woody Harelson in draping a banner up on the Golden Gate Bridge....

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

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Overview

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, helped put a gas mask on Mount Rushmore’s George Washington, and aided actor Woody Harelson in draping a banner up on the Golden Gate Bridge. He has spent over thirty years fighting back against big business, negligent management and the lawless actions of the government itself for the safety and preservation of our great earth.

Tree Spiker: From Earth First! to Lowbagging: My Struggles in Radical Environmental Action is a fascinating autobiography from the front lines of a radical movement.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Roselle—cofounder of the Rainforest Action Network and Earth First!—offers a memoir of his career in radical activism—from teenage Yippie to career environmentalist, who admits he shares his “generation's complicity in creating the mess we are in today” and is now fighting against mountaintop-removal coal mining in Appalachia. His rollicking adventures make for entertaining reading: he is jailed after hanging an anti–acid rain sign over Mt. Rushmore, helps Woody Harrelson climb the Golden Gate Bridge to protest the redwood logging and spikes trees (a form of protest in which metal spikes are hammered into a tree trunk to make the tree harder to cut down). Did he really throw Abbie Hoffman in a pool in Miami? Did he really discuss the future of Costa Rican rainforests with future president José María Figueres over a bloody steak and a bottle of whiskey? Roselle is more interested in spinning a good yarn than supporting some of his wilder stories. He embraces every stereotype he embodies and celebrates the impact he and his collaborators have had on the past 30 years of environmental policy. (Sept.)
Kirkus Reviews
The memoir of a "green" radical. Now in his mid-50s, Roselle, with the assistance of environmental journalist Mahan, looks back at nearly 30 years of troublemaking as an environmental activist. Coming of age as a hippie, high-school dropout and antiwar protestor-he bounced from his native Louisville to Los Angeles and elsewhere, making ends meet as a house painter, oil-field worker and ski bum-Roselle began his career as an activist in 1980 when he and others, traveling in a VW van, shouted "Hayduke lives!" (a nod to the eco-saboteur in Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang) and, then and there, founded the radical group Earth First! From those early days through his work with Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network, which he co-founded, Roselle has been deeply committed to using nonviolent civil disobedience to call attention to and force action on the destruction of wilderness. He recounts his role in blocking bulldozers to halt timber-industry incursions into Western roadless areas and in such iconic actions as hanging protest banners at Mount Rushmore and the Golden Gate Bridge. Disdainful of the Wilderness Society and other mainstream groups "too comfortable and professional" to risk civil disobedience, Roselle argues forcefully that only direct action can spur government to address the "crime" of deforestation. He takes pride in being viewed as a "nonviolent extremist" and contends that stopping climate change will require citizen action to pressure politicians addicted to coal-industry money. At the same time, he lambasts anarchists whose acts of arson and property destruction at such events as the 1999 Seattle meeting of the World Trade Organization reveal a lack ofunderstanding of effective protest. "It takes more courage to sit in front of a bulldozer than to burn one," he writes. His discussion of the painstaking training required for successful nonviolent activism helps explain why confrontational environmentalism has often proven a significant force. A colorful account from a highly dedicated activist.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429956833
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 272
  • File size: 275 KB

Meet the Author

MIKE ROSELLE is a co-founder of the San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network, Earth First!, and the Ruckus Society. He has been featured in numerous magazine articles, news segments, and documentaries. JOSH MAHAN is an environmental journalist and editor.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    I couldn't finish this book.  I consider myself an environmental

    I couldn't finish this book.  I consider myself an environmentalist, but this book seemed to be more of a list of cool stuff Mike Roselle has done, rather than what I was hoping for, which was a more introspective tale of how he went from a young high schooler to Earth First.  To be fair, I could only get through the first two or three chapters.

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  • Posted October 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The best book about Earth First! and radical environmentalism today

    Mike Roselle and I have been pals ever since we both found ourselves in Bay Area Earth First! back in 1985. Mike asked me to make a video for Redwood Summer and to organize the official Redwood Summer road show. For all of these years I've followed his amazing series of planet changing campaigns, and I've always been a big admirer of his cleverness, intellectual brilliance, and strategic genius. He's General Roselle of the Timber Wars to me. So when I got his book I devoured it in a day.

    First, it is extremely well written. Mike has never been real big on public speaking, leaving the rabble rousing to his cohorts, like fellow co-founder of Earth First! Dave Foreman, so Mike's eloquence might surprise some. Mike has always been a hang out, drink beer and chat behind the scenes kind of guy. Then suddenly, you find him blast out like a bull to shut down logging and mining roads with a couple of friends by doing nonviolent civil disobedience road blockades. Or maybe you might find him crawling around the face of Mt. Rushmore helping his Greenpeace colleagues hang a banner and a gas mask on George Washington.

    But there is so much more to this hero of the forests than just in-your-face direct actions. And it does take a book to paint the picture. In fact, my only real complaint is that the book is too short. Although it is sort of written like an autobiography, it's really just a memoir of the high points of his career, a sort of Greatest Hits (to the resource extraction industries). It begins chronologically, but when Mike leaves Wyoming for southern Oregon in 1983, the chronology gets cut-up. The book switches gears and each chapter looks at the history of a different campaign or series of campaigns Mike started or was instrumental in making happen. These chapters are amazingly concise, yet powerfully evocative. When I finished the book, I had the experience of just finishing a whirlwind tour of the world, from reading just a few pages. Mike (and co-author Josh Mahan) are the best Earth First! writers since Ed Abbey. They may even be better than Abbey. This book never gets ponderous or self-indulgent. Every single word matters. Every story counts, just as every remaining stand of Old Growth forests still counts.

    This isn't an Earth First! history in any way either. Actually, it's more like being an EF!er. You intermittently drop in on an action or show up at a Round River Rendezvous, but you have no sense of continuity for the movement itself. But this isn't a weakness of the book. There is so much crap that has happened in Earth First! over the last thirty years, that an attempt at comprehensiveness could very easily become tedious. This book is NEVER tedious! I'm sure Mike just thought that material too arcane for the general public.

    Ironically, in writing his memoirs, Mike has written a book for right now and for the future. You see, I think Mike wrote this book for us, as a kind of handbook hidden in history. You get deeply into Mike's strategic thinking on each and every campaign he describes, especially as the book wraps up and he takes on the 1999 Seattle WTO occupation and the formation of the Earth Liberation Front. And damn, if Mike's assessments of both of those events isn't full of surprises.

    When you put down the book after reading the last pages, I bet you'll have a strong yearning to buy your bus ticket to West Virginia to join up with Mike and his Mob to fight Mountaintop Removal Mining. So what are you wai

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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