WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement by Robert Hunter

WARRIORS OF THE RAINBOW: A Chronicle of the Greenpeace Movement

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The Greenpeace movement was founded in Vancouver, in 1970, to oppose American testing of nuclear devices in the Aleutian Islands--a volatile area connected to the San Andreas fault. From its inception, it combined ecological and anti-war concerns, and this history of the movement traces its expanding pur-view--protecting whales and baby harp seals, protesting nuclear power and oil tankers. The Greenpeace strategy was to sail a boat into the testing area to either stop the test or to at least focus the world's attention on it. Later, they would try to save whales and seals by placing themselves between the hunters and the victims. Robert Hunter, a journalist and one-time president of Greenpeace, saw his group as ""Warriors of the Rainbow""--a mythic tribe, prophesied by the Cree Indians, who would someday teach the white man to ""bring an end to the destruction and desecration of the sacred Earth."" This mystical theme--reinforced by constant references to the I Ching, omens, karma, rainbows, and ESP--is juxtaposed with a practical sense of politics and media manipulation. Hunter notes that while the first Greenpeace crew knew that it exaggerated the truth to make its point, the second crew had already begun to believe the propaganda. Ultimately, as the group grew to international dimensions it took on greater bureaucratic and corporate form. But much of the book leans toward the lyrical: whales gratefully surface to ""salute"" their saviors; ""miracles"" take over where planning falls short. Meanwhile, Hunter makes no attempt to define the ecological problems or to put Greenpeace into the perspective of the environmental movement. But the excitement of following the whales, the stress of playing chicken in ""rubber duckies"" against Russian killer boats--these landmarks of a protest movement make for an absorbing story.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1979
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston