GREENPEACE: How a Group of Journalists, Ecologists and Visionaries Changed the World

Rex Weyler, Author . Rodale $24.95 (623p) ISBN 978-1-59486-106-2

With its blend of a participant's firsthand insight, a journalist's concern for facts and a novelist's spirited style, this inside story of the early years of Greenpeace is an engaging, brisk and at times emotional read. Weyler (Blood of the Land ) was active in the organization almost from its first days, when a disparate group of Quakers, journalists, ecologists and displaced Vietnam-era war resisters coalesced in Vancouver in 1969–1970. "Green" came first, as activists focused on oil spills, pulp mills and other environmental concerns, but "peace" quickly followed, with news of U.S. plans to detonate a one-megaton nuclear bomb on Amchitka Island, 4,000 miles northwest of Vancouver. That plan galvanized the group into renting a fishing boat to confront the American bomb tests, and thus was born the Greenpeace tactic of "bearing witness": observing, recording and attempting to disrupt environmentally destructive acts, from nuclear testing to whale harpooning, from clubbing baby seals to indiscriminate logging. By 1979, the blend of passion, whimsy, mysticism and media savvy of the original Greenpeace Foundation had evolved—with no dearth of personality clashes and bruised egos—into the more pragmatic, businesslike Greenpeace International, which Weyler cofounded. And that's where Weyler ends his riveting account of an organization that has matured into a worldwide direct-action group. Despite its growth and its age, Greenpeace adheres to the principles Weyler describes so vibrantly: as recently as August, two dozen antilogging Greenpeace protestors were arrested in Alaska's Tongass National Forest. (Oct.)

Forecast: With several million members in more than 40 countries, there's a ready-made audience for this surprisingly lively title.

Reviewed on: 09/06/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 480 pages - 978-1-4050-7735-4
Hardcover - 623 pages - 978-1-55192-529-5
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-62336-718-3
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