The author of Desert Solitaire and The Monkey Wrench Gang is unchallenged among radicals of all ages. Edward Abbey, an American icon, called "the original fly in the ointment" by Tom McGuane, today has roads and a town named after him.Edward Abbey
(1927-1989) was born in Home, Pennsylvania. He received graduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of New Mexico, and attended the University of Edinburgh. He worked for a time as a forest ranger and was a committed naturalist and a fierce environmentalist; such was his anger, eloquence, and action on the subject that he has become a heroic, almost mythic figure to a whole host of environmental groups and literally millions of readers. Abbey's career as a writer spanned four decades and encompassed a variety of genres, from essays to novels. One of his early successes was the novel The Brave Cowboy
, which was made into the movie Lonely Are the Brave
. His 1968 collection of essays, Desert Solitaire
, became a necessary text for the new environmentalists, like the group 'Earth First,' and his rambunctious 1975 novel The Monkey Wrench
Gang, a picaresque tale of environmental guerillas, which launched a national cult movement and sold over half-a-million copies. Other titles include The Journey Home
, Fool's Progress
, and the posthumously released Hayduke Lives!