BOTWW: The Golden Spruce


If you enjoyed Krakauer’s Into The Wild you’ll want to pick up this week’s BOTWW.

OCTOBER 7TH, 2020: The Golden Spruce by John Vaillant, Norton

OK, we’re leaving the 70s but keeping with the theme of violent protest against resource extraction and corporate greed. In some ways, The Golden Spruce is the opposite of The Monkey Wrench Gang, more an extreme case of what some would call “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” But it’s a fascinating profile of a man, former logger and born-again enviro activist, Grant Hadwin, going over the edge, pushed along in his madness by a manic love of wild places. And it’s a true story, filled with the natural and cultural history of the north coast of British Columbia, the unique characters who live there, and the overall vibe of a region with vast-but-shrinking areas of true wilderness. Whether you believe what Hadwin did was a justifiable statement or an egregious, self-defeating act of destruction, this is an essential book of the Pacific Northwest.

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