The last book that my mother ever gave me was the 10th anniversary edition of The Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey (illustrations by R. Crumb). This book is generally credited as the genesis of radical environmentalism or so-called eco-terrorism (self defense). I took my name from one of its protagonists, George Washington Hayduke. The name of this site comes from the book’s epigraph, a quote from Walt Whitman. My personal philosophy owes much to Abbey, who though already dead when I discovered him, become an avuncular figure to me. Uncle Ed based the character of Hayduke on his friend, Douglas Peacock. Peacock eventually buried Abbey in a secret grave in the desert.
Doug’s own book, Walking it Off, a memoir, relating among other things, the running conversation about suicide that he had with Abbey, is also extremely important to me and I return to it often, or would if some flake would return it.
Here, Amy Goodman talks with Doug and his wife Andrea about Peacock’s work in the wilds of the west and about Edward Abbey and the concept of monkey wrenching, the defense of the planet against that which would destroy it.