Edward Abbey was a hero to environmentalists and rebels of every stripe. With Fire on the Mountain, this literary giant of the New West gave readers a powerful, moving, and enduring tale that gloriously celebrates the undying spirit of American individualism. This fiftieth anniversary edition, with an introduction by historian Douglas Brinkley, reminds readers of Abbey's powerful conviction that "a patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
John Vogelin's land is his life a barren stretch of New Mexican wilderness mercifully bypassed by civilization. Then the government moves in. And suddenly the elderly, mule-stubborn rancher is confronting the combined land-grabbing greed of the county sheriff, the Department of the Interior, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the U.S. Air Force. But a tough old man is like a mountain lion: if you back him into a corner, he'll come out fighting.
About the Author
Edward Abbey spent most of his life in the American Southwest. The author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the much celebrated "Desert Solitaire", which decried the waste of America's wilderness, Abbey was one of the country's foremost defenders of the natural environment. He died in 1989.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) was born in Home, Pennsylvania. He received graduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of New Mexico, and attended the University of Edinburgh. He worked for a time as a forest ranger and was a committed naturalist and a fierce environmentalist; such was his anger, eloquence, and action on the subject that he has become a heroic, almost mythic figure to a whole host of environmental groups and literally millions of readers. Abbey's career as a writer spanned four decades and encompassed a variety of genres, from essays to novels. One of his early successes was the novel "The Brave Cowboy", which was made into the movie "Lonely Are the Brave". His 1968 collection of essays, "Desert Solitaire", became a necessary text for the new environmentalists, like the group 'Earth First, ' and his rambunctious 1975 novel "The Monkey Wrench" Gang, a picaresque tale of environmental guerillas, which launched a national cult movement and sold over half-a-million copies. Other titles include "The Journey Home", "Fool's Progress", and the posthumously released "Hayduke Lives!"
Douglas Brinkley is currently a Professor of History at Rice University and a Fellow at the James Baker III Institute of Public Policy. He has published several New York Times bestselling titles: The Wilderness Warrior (2009), The Reagan Diaries (2007), The Great Deluge (2006), The Boys of Pointe du Hoc (2005), Tour of Duty (2004), and Voices of Valor (2004, with Ronald J. Drez). The Great Deluge, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Prize and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Dr. Brinkley has also taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, Princeton University, Tulane University (where he was also Director of the Roosevelt Center), and other institutions across the country. He is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, and American Heritage, as well as a frequent contributor to the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the Atlantic. He lives in Austin and Houston, Texas.