Penn State

Kirwin R. Shaffer - Professor of Latin American Studies, Penn State Berks

Book Title: The Monkey Wrench Gang

Author: Edward Abbey

Book Description:

This is Edward Abbey's ode to the wonder of Nature and the activities of a handful of people who decide to stop the corporate-government alliance that is destroying that Nature in the name of "progress." It is a book that I've used in different courses on environmental history and dissent over the years. The characters are funny, disgusting, dumb, brilliant, sexy ... i.e., human as they use ecotage (monkey wrenching) to stop those who rape America's landscape for profit. The book is a brilliant combination of lyrical beauty and how-to-manual. Abbey's descriptions of the U.S.Southwest are nothing short of religious while the tactics employed by our eco-anarchist heroes are outlined step-by-step, making The Monkey Wrench Gang a controversial book not only for its unconditional warfare against the corporate-government power structure but also its explicit descriptions on how to use constructive violence to fight the destructive assault on the Earth.

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