Greenpeace: The Inside Story is the first comprehensive eye-witness account of the human drama behind the creation of the world's largest direct-action environmental group. Greenpeace founder and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Rex Weyler brings us the amazing story of an idea that changed the world, and the adventures, clashes, pitfalls and ...
Greenpeace: The Inside Story is the first comprehensive eye-witness account of the human drama behind the creation of the world's largest direct-action environmental group. Greenpeace founder and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Rex Weyler brings us the amazing story of an idea that changed the world, and the adventures, clashes, pitfalls and heroics of the people who fought for it. The book reveals the roots of ecology and the influence on Greenpeace of legends such as Gandhi, Einstein, Rachel Carson, and Martin Luther King Jr. The story is enhanced through cameo appearances by the CIA, Allen Ginsberg, Bonnie Raitt, Brigitte Bardot, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, The Grateful Dead, Pope Paul VI, Courtney Love, and Richard Nixon. Greenpeace has 4.5 million dues-paying members around the world, and many millions more supporters.
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Greenpeace journalist and photographer Rex Weyler has written a fascinating tale of the coming of age of Greenpeace during the 1970s. An early member, he chronicles the group's transformation from ragtag hecklers into an organized global cultural phenomenon, going up against corporations and governments with the support of ordinary folks, writers, musicians, celebrities and visionaries.
While reading Greenpeace, I began to apply the perspective of a 35-year-old movement to my activist work with the Green Party. I was impressed by the early awareness and savvy of Greenpeace in media relations. These are important lessons as third parties, considering the barriers we face in the electoral system, are challenged in developing effective marketing and public relations strategies.
A mantra of Greenpeace was "Money follows energy." Readers might find it surprising that Greenpeace was perpetually broke throughout their famous risky missions to save whales and stop nuclear testing. Broke, that is, until they got a buzz going for the next campaign.
Weyler's uncompromising examination of the internal struggles and growth of an activist organization is very useful. Activists will identify with the factions that developed in Greenpeace: the streetwise radicals, the entrepreneurs, the fragile mosaic of grassroots activists, and leadership attempts to keep them all together.
At more than 600 pages, you might not read the entire book straight through (though I did, and it kept me absorbed). At the very least, keep it on your shelf as an activist reference. Greenpeace is an engrossing story of high-seas activism, unlawful searches and seizures, espionage, false arrests, a few miracles, media manipulation and a snapshot of mid-20th-century politics.
And the issues still resonate today. As one Greenpeace member points out, "The sooner we get on with it, the better."
Publishers Weekly, 2004-09-06 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. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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