cover image Burning Rage of a Dying Planet (P)

Burning Rage of a Dying Planet (P)

Craig Rosebraugh. Lantern Books, $20 (336pp) ISBN 978-1-59056-064-8

For five years the aboveground face of the underground environmental group Earth Liberation Front (ELF), Rosebraugh is a man of unrepentant revolutionary convictions. From 1997 until 2001, the Portland, Ore., activist funneled ""communiques"" from the anonymous and loosely organized ""elves"" of ELF to local and national media. This role as spokesperson--publicizing ELF's acts of vandalism, arson and bombing directed against logging companies, ""fur farms,"" businesses that develop suburban housing, a Vail ski resort and even SUV dealerships--quickly brought him to the attention of the FBI. Over the years, his several offices and homes were repeatedly raided, he was subpoenaed seven times to appear before Portland grand juries investigating ELF actions, and in 2002--by which time the FBI had dubbed the shadowy Earth Liberation Front America's largest and most active terrorist organization--he was called before a congressional committee investigating ecoterrorism. This candid memoir of a young revolutionary (he was 30 when he wrote the book) is often good-natured and even genial, particularly in its account of those police raids and grand jury appearances. But it's also controversial, as Rosebraugh, though thoughtful and articulate, stands firm in his belief that violence is a legitimate tool in the fight for radical change in America.