Zakin, a freelance journalist, has written a lively, fast-paced historical account of the sometimes controversial environmental group Earth! First. Beginning and ending her book with the 1989 arrest and 1991 trial of founding member Dave Foreman ( Confessions of an Eco-Warrior, LJ 3/1/91), Zakin traces Foreman's experiences from his days as a Washington lobbyist to his involvement with several colorful personalities, or ``buckaroos,'' who eventually became the nucleus of Earth! First. Zakin chronicles the group's various environmental activities, including the struggle over Black Mesa in Arizona, the ``cracking'' of Glen Canyon Dam, and tree spiking in the Pacific Northwest. Zakin also provides a good analysis of the environmental movement, both historical and contemporary, and shows the relationship between Earth! First and such groups as the Wilderness Society and Sierra Club. This solid work should be purchased where interest warrants.-- Eva Lautemann, DeKalb Coll. Lib., Clarkston, Ga.
“Too many books about the American environmental movement have been dry as dust. But Coyotes and Town Dogs is a juicy account of the early days of Earth First! and the all-hell-busting-loose men and women who answered writer Edward Abbey's call to monkeywrenching. . . . A well-reported, fascinating account of the people and politics that define modern American environmentalism.” Earth Journal
“Susan Zakin's writing is brilliant and irreverent, tough and funny, opinionated and sometimes outrageous. But this is also a serious work, the most thorough and thoughtful survey of the American environmental movement I have seen. It puts Earth First! and the period of its major battles and internal struggles in the context of the broader American conservation movement. . . . Zakin has done an excellent job of telling the story.” Christian Science Monitor
“Like many Easterners, I really never understood Earth First! although I had been following environmental issues for many years. . . . Now I do. Reading Susan Zakin's Coyotes and Town Dogs, a sprawling, rollicking and ultimately melancholy history of Earth First!, is like spending a week around a campfire with its hard-core 'buckaroos.' . . . They had a terrific run, and Coyotes and Town Dogs is one terrific read.” Philip Shabecoff, Los Angeles Times
“It's a fascinating, sometimes hilarious, sometimes appalling tale. Whatever you think about Earth First!, this book may well change your mind.” Arizona Daily Star
“Zakin, a truly gifted writer, puts the reader right smack into the scene . . . an evocation of as odd a group of people, and as inspiring a collection of landscapes, as could be imagined.” Wilderness