Books by David Brower

Released: April 1, 1995

A provocative and controversial conservationist encapsulates his opinions and suggestions for restoring the health of a planet at risk. Brower (For Earth's Sake, 1990) has reached the ripe age of 82, and this slim volume feels like a swan song—or perhaps he might prefer to call it ``goose music,'' referring to the tonic of wildness that we all must hear, appreciate, and identify with in order to save our soiled Earth. Aided by Chapple (Kayaking the Full Moon, 1993), Brower runs through a handful of eco-ideas, some more familiar than others: putting boundaries around cities, linking protected animal havens to allow natural migration, encouraging eco-tourism, reining in our overuse of the automobile, and turning to solar power. He waxes enthusiastic on the subject of reducing forest consumption, and his own words are printed here on paper made from kenaf, a hibiscus relative whose development as a tree substitute might eventually protect our last acres of old-growth forest. Brower urges that efforts be made to promote ``CPR for the Earth'': conservation, preservation, and restoration. The book is a mother lode of quotable sayings from the man best known to readers from John McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid, and sometimes style obscures content. Brower has a wonderful, folksy voice, and though he has more enemies than most conservationists, he has also become a mythic figure in the environmental movement—so it feels almost disloyal to note that a towering ego shows through his comments. In addition, the Archdruid's prescriptions are fairly vague, though it could be argued that this is a statement of personal mission, not a grant proposal. Unapologetic and defiant as ever, Brower has penned a manifesto for those who would pick up his torch. Whether his methods have been more help or hindrance to his cause is still to be decided. (Author tour) Read full book review >