Edward Paul Abbey (January 29, 1927 – March 14, 1989) was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by environmental groups, and the non-fiction work Desert Solitaire. – From Wikipedia
I never met the man called Edward Abbey, but I once knew people who knew him, and I always felt that I had reached into at least some part of his realm through reading many of his books and published works. In the end, his words have always left me with a grin, and I would guess that is exactly what Ed would have wanted. I can see that sly, rascally smile of his even now, in my mind’s eye.
Those are the kind of friends that I like to have in my life, and I call Edward Abbey “friend”, as much as anyone else I know. A friend can lift a heavy burden in the darkest times, sometimes with words alone.
The unrelenting assaults on environment and human nature are legion, but there is hope. There is always hope. Edward Abbey tried to tell us that.
He always had a way of keeping it real, while reminding us not to sacrifice our human soul before the madness of it all. Be quick, he might say, to immerse yourself in the enveloping salvation of the natural world.
And so I say, take heart. When the problems of the modern world lay heavy on your brow, and the latest insults upon the natural world threatens what’s left of your faltering sanity – think of Ed. With all of our problems and faults, he never gave up on the inexhaustible courage of the human condition, nor the limitless capacity of mother earth to right the ship, and heal.
Perhaps above all though, Abbey would have been the first to defend your right to wander freely upon the wild lands, or to do whatever you wished in your own backyard. He had a thing or two to say about guns, government, and monkey wrenches too, if I’m not mistaken.
Edward Abbey, we miss you so!
“One final paragraph of advice. Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast…a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half for yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the griz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards”.
“When guns are outlawed, only the Government will have guns. The Government – and a few outlaws. If that happens, you can count me among the outlaws.”
- Jonathan Troy (1954) (ISBN 1-131-40684-2)
- The Brave Cowboy (1956) (ISBN 0-8263-0448-6)
- Fire on the Mountain (1962) (ISBN 0-8263-0457-5)
- Black Sun (1971) (ISBN 0-88496-167-2)
- The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975) (ISBN 0-397-01084-2)
- Good News (1980) (ISBN 0-525-11583-8)
- The Fool’s Progress (1988) (ISBN 0-8050-0921-3)
- Hayduke Lives (1989) (ISBN 0-316-00411-1)
- Earth Apples: The Poetry of Edward Abbey (1994) (ISBN 0-312-11265-3)
- Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness (1968) (ISBN 0-8165-1057-1)
- Appalachian Wilderness (1970)
- Slickrock (1971) (ISBN 0-87156-051-8)
- Cactus Country (1973)
- The Journey Home (1977) (ISBN 0-525-13753-X)
- The Hidden Canyon (1977)
- Abbey’s Road (1979) (ISBN 0-525-05006-X)
- Desert Images (1979)
- Down the River (with Henry Thoreau & Other Friends) (1982) (ISBN 0-525-09524-1)
- In Praise of Mountain Lions (1984)
- Beyond the Wall (1984) (ISBN 0-03-069299-7)
- One Life at a Time, Please (1988) (ISBN 0-8050-0602-8)
- A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: Notes from a Secret Journal (1989)
- Confessions of a Barbarian: Selections from the Journals of Edward Abbey, 1951–1989 (1994) (ISBN 0-316-00415-4)
- Cactus Chronicles published by Orion Magazine, Jul–Aug 2006 (no longer active,)
- Postcards from Ed (book)|Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast (2006) (ISBN 1-57131-284-6)
- Slumgullion Stew: An Edward Abbey Reader (1984)
- The Best of Edward Abbey (1984)
- The Serpents of Paradise: A Reader (1995)
We generally have several used and collectable Edward Abbey Books in stock.
You can find a current list Michael Patrick McCarty, Bookseller, HERE.
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