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"From stories about cattlemen, fellow critics, his beloved desert, cities, and technocrats to thoughts on sin and redemption, this is one of our most treasured writers at the height of his powers."This was a real treat for me - I adore Edward Abbey, and really enjoyed getting a small tour through his thoughts and philosophies. "Ten thousand years of human history demonstrate that our freedoms cannot be entrusted to those ambitious few who are drawn to power; we must learn -- again -- to govern o...
The book is divided into four parts: Politics, Travel, Books and Art and Nature Love (just one short bit on predator hunting calls and littering). The Politics section is as expected: deep insights into Abbey's anarchic views, some founded in legitimate reason, others in a bit of selfish or humanistic lunacy, but well-argued and coherent, often difficult to be critical of. Highlights from the section include Arizona: How Big is Big Enough?, Eco-Defense (the forward to Bill Haywood and Dave Forem...
Picked this up in a bookstore in Moab, UT this summer. They had a whole display of Abbey's works, an author who I thought maybe (?) I had heard of. I decided to try this collection of his essays instead of one of his novels. He was a helluva writer who lived in and loved the four corners region of the U.S. He died in the 1980s - his essays are somehow both prescient and timeless. Not for everyone, tho, the man is opinionated and holds nothing back. I get the impression his novels read the same w...
Edward Abbey was an excellent writer. His convictions cared not for gray areas. To him the gray was nothing more then a reason for foolish apathy. And yet, the man knew that black and white were impossible absolutes in the grand world of human ideas. We are far too "me first" to think of that which is more universal. To Abbey the universal is God as Nature. Abbey had a powerful vocabulary, it was strong, intellectually literate, and poetic. His travel writings took you there, engaging all the se...
My second read of Ed Abbey's collection of thoughts on life, nature, government, literature, and miscellany reveals contradiction and vulnerability that I missed in the first breathless, worshipful read some fifteen years ago. It is a changed reader that now chaffs at Ed's calls for anarchy as the maximum form of democracy, while only a few pages away he pleads for a dystopian world in which an all-powerful government halts immigration, enacts draconian sterilization campaigns to cull the "weak"...
Not my favorite Abbey, and certainly hand picked out which essays I read from this collection. His journals about traveling nature areas are his strongest points I feel. This seemed to be a collection of his older work, and to a certain point, I felt got a bit jaded. Could also be that I had taken a fair amount of his work out from the library recently. 2.5 stars.
A series of essays divided among politics, travel, and books & art. as usual, the politics and travel sections contain classic Abbey— rants against growth and the myth of “progress”, travels in the desert and on rivers.my favorite essays were Theory of Anarchy, Arizona: How Big is Big Enough?, A San Francisco Journal, Big Bend, A Writer’s Credo.
He likes to push people's buttons, and he succeeded in that here
But then again, nothing can compare to Desert Solitaire now can it?
Abbey at his best -- if most controversial. After all "Immigration and Liberal Taboos" is *the* notorious piece. The one in which he sullies an otherwise remarkable body of work. And not because immigration is an issue unworthy of discussion, but precisely because of the racist way he goes about arguing the case for population control. His classification of poor Latin American immigrants as "culturally-morally-generically impoverished people" is astonishingly obtuse for anyone, but especially so...
a score of essays on politics, travel and books. this was the final collection published before abbey's death in 1989, and arguably one of his most accomplished. "a writer's credo" is one of the finest essays on writing i have ever read.why write? how justify this mad itch for scribbling? speaking for myself, i write to entertain my friends and to exasperate our enemies. i write to record the truth of our time as best as i can see it. to investigate the comedy and tragedy of human relationships....
I'm not quite sure what to think of Edward Abbey and his ideas. I like his description of nature that he encounters during his hikes and water adventures (although they got a little repetitious and tiring after a while), but his beliefs that the writer should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives (as though there is nothing positive that could be said about our society) and that population growth must be controlled (as though someone other than the individual should decide whe...
Sometimes called the "desert anarchist," author Edward Abbey was known to anger people of all political stripes, including environmentalists. In his essays, he describes throwing beer cans out of his car, claiming the highway had already littered the landscape. This book is a collection of what the author terms "pieces", all written "for money". I found the essays sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad but always thought-provoking. I would have really liked Edward Abbey as a free-thinking human bein...
Abbey is fiery, inspiring, and irritating. This book is a collection of his essays spanning several topics: nature, politics, arts, etc. The essays on nature are, of course, the most illuminating. The essays on art border on dull. The essays on politics are mixed. Sometimes it seems as though Abbey just pushes buttons for the sake of it; such as in the speech he presented at the University of Montana's graduation regarding the evils of the Western cowboy. Other times, he is fresh and spot on.
Great writing by Abbey! I absolutely loved Free Speech: the Cowboy and His Cow; it is Abbey at his best. The talk Abbey gave at the University of Montana highlights everything I love about "Cactus Ed" and how much he is missed. River Solitaire and River of No Return are two of my favorite travel essays, by Abbey. River Solitaire describes a fall trip Abbey made along the Colorado River. I thoroughly enjoyed Abbey's solo journey along this beautiful river in the SW.
Another collection of essays and speeches, somewhat more popular than those contained in Black Sun. Includes Free Speech; the Cowboy and his Cow, Theory of Anarchy, Immigration and Liberal Taboos, A Writer's Creedo, Etc., Etc.
Funny and interesting essays. His address to a convention of cow folk is hilarious.
No comment, I don't know, no I never have met these people before, I have no idea what I am doing out here with this monkey wrench
Not your typical, fiery Abbey - much more restrained and mellow... Still a good read though.
Abbey's essays handpicked by Abbey himself. Good enough for me.
He's kind of an a**hole, but that's why I like him.
A most excellent read!
Not his best set of essays, but readable and at times brilliant.
Edward Abbey books should be required reading for high-school students.
give the theory of anarchy essay a chance!
Some of my favorite Abbey stories are in this book, from pissing off western ranchers to government people, he drew me in with this book along with his seminal "The Monkey Wrench Gang"
A variety of essays by Abbey. There's enough here to delight and offend nearly everyone.
Edward Abbey has a way with words. I enjoyed these stand-alone essays, especially the ones on his experiences in nature.
I enjoy Edward Abbey's writing, including his wry and sarcastic style. His writings on the American West are particularly interesting.
Edward Abbey never disappoints.