As executive director of the Sierra Club through the 1950s and ’60s, David Brower spearheaded its landmark campaigns, launched its publishing program, and, in Jerry Mander’s words, “essentially vaulted the ecology movement into
a major international force.” Brower was the movement’s charismatic pied piper, inspiring countless young people to follow his lead.
This incendiary and vastly entertaining volume is vintage Brower, recounting events from his life and times as preludes to his siren songs on behalf of the Earth. His voice is erudite, beautifully cadenced, infuriatingly opinionated, and spiced with dry humor. And his insights are uncannily prescient; back in the early 1990s he called for the adoption of hybrid cars, urban core infilling, wildlife corridors, and more. We also see Brower’s other sides: as a leading mountaineer and officer in the famed 10th Mountain Division during WWII and as an innovative and discerning editor.
Brower’s tale begins at a Grateful Dead concert, where he is mentally composing a speech that will move the young audience to as much passion for conservation as they express for their music. With this delightful book available again, still more young (and not-so-young) people can be moved by his words.