Thursday, January 23, 2014

Western Thursday...!

Normally we have western Wednesday, but i forgot! That's the reason we are doing western today!

Sometimes I run across a name I'm unfamiliar with while doing some research. Thanks to History.com, I found this gentleman. Interesting guy!

Jan 29, 1927:
Edward Abbey is born

Uncompromising environmentalist and author Edward Abbey is born in Home, Pennsylvania.

A self-proclaimed "enemy of the modern military-industrial state," which he believed was destroying the natural world and human freedom, Abbey's passionate dedication to protecting and preserving wilderness lands began in 1944, when he first visited the American Southwest as a 17-year-old hitchhiker. Enraptured by the beauty and untouched wilderness of the deserts and canyons, the young Abbey believed he had found his true homeland, and for the rest of his life, he never strayed far from the Southwest.

In 1951, Abbey graduated from the University of New Mexico, where he had edited a student literary magazine; and after several attempts at graduate school, he decided to try to make a career as a writer. Abbey did not initially plan to become a "nature writer," a term he later came to despise. His earlier works, like the 1956 novel The Brave Cowboy, focused more on the modern destruction of the western spirit of independence and self-reliance than the destruction of the land itself. In 1968, though, Abbey put together a collection of essays and diary entries he had written during several summer stints as a ranger at Arches National Monument in Utah and published them as Desert Solitaire. A celebration of the "hard and brutal mysticism" of the Utah desert, Desert Solitaire won Abbey a national following and an enduring reputation as a zealous advocate for wilderness preservation.

Whereas Desert Solitaire offered a philosophical argument of why humans needed to preserve wilderness, Abbey's most influential book, The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975), offered a radical plan for exactly how they might do so. A fictional story of an irreverent band of wilderness advocates battling against the encroaching forces of modernization, the book became something of a blueprint for radical western environmental groups like Earth First! Environmentalists adopted the term "monkey-wrenching" to refer to the non-violent sabotage of development projects that threatened the wilderness. Abbey's book offered advice on how to sabotage heavy earthmoving equipment or road-building projects, and a small but highly visible minority of wilderness proponents actually put his ideas into action.

In 1989, Abbey died of cancer at his home outside of Tucson, Arizona. At the author's request, friends and family buried him in an unmarked grave somewhere in the vast reaches of the Arizona desert.

I reckon that it would be safe to say that Mr. Abbey was a bit of a rebel. This day and age he might even have been labeled as a "domestic terrorist!" That happens to a lot of folks, so I understand.

Coffee outside this morning, although it may get a little chilly later.That's OK, we're tough, right?

5 comments:

Chickenmom said...

Sabotage IS violent. If it was land that he owned it would be a different story. Minus 2 here. Make a big pot of that hot coffee!

linda m said...

Sabotaging another persons equipment with the intent to destroy it is not the way to go. It does make a statement tho and that was the point he was trying to make. And I am glad someone wanted to preserve the beauty of the Southwest. It is very cold here this morning but I'll be glad to join you on the patio.

JO said...

This is worth reading his book I think I'll have to check it out so I have a new book on Kindle for my trip. Did you post something about the monkey wrench gang before? I know I heard of them somewhere.

I will be over and have some coffee with you then finish cramming stuff into the truck.

Mamahen said...

I had heard of the Monkey Wrench Gang but had never paid a lot of attention to it...Once again something to dig deeper into....Very cold here and the forecast doesn't look good for the forseeable future :((

deborah harvey said...

sounds like 'the deliberate agrarian' gone amok. pennsylvania was so filthy from the coal furnaces at the steel mills, he was probably amazed that you could take a deep breath in the west without choking or getting lung cancer.
deb h