Wanderings of an Environmental Journalist in Alaska and the American West: In Alaska and the American West

Philip L. Fradkin, Author
Philip L. Fradkin, Author University of New Mexico Press $24.95 (273p) ISBN 978-0-8263-1416-1
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Fradkin roamed freely in the 1970s and '80s as the Los Angeles Times 's first environmental writer, and as a contributor to Audubon. These 15 pieces, about evenly divided in covering Alaska and the West, include several gems. ``The Eating of the West'' is a thoughtful exploration of the ``high environmental cost'' (overgrazing) of America's penchant for beef consumption. ``The First Pipeline'' describes the people and politics behind the ``expensive failure'' of the original Alaska pipeline, built during WW II. A late-'70s article on dangers facing supertankers in Valdez Narrows foretells the Exxon disaster. Some pieces are dated, but Franklin's engaging style and insights into ongoing issues--the ``alienation'' of Native Americans from their lands, overcrowding in the West, the constant threat of fire in California--make this a rewarding collection for concerned readers. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Apr.)
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