The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner
"Eight provocative essays that turn on a common theme: How wildness (once but no longer the essence of wilderness), has been mediated, micromanaged and abstracted nearly out of existence." --Publishers Weekly.
Chapter 7: The Importance of Peacock
Men went to Vietnam young. Those who returned were old, aged by trauma and a reality so real their past lives were forever severed from their present. Once home they faced indifference, even hostility. There were no parades and few heroes.
With the publication of Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang in 1975, one veteran, a former Green Beret, became one of those heroes, not only to other veterans but to a nascent contingent of environmentalists who perceived themselves as radical. The hero, depending on your views of fiction and reality, was either George W. Hayduke, the novel's archetypal monkey wrencher, or Abbey's model for Hayduke, his friend Doug Peacock. There is no need to explain why Hayduke is a hero, but I want to explain why Doug Peacock is one of my heroes.
Download Chapter Seven to read more: The Importance of Peacock (pdf, 3.5mb)
Reproduced here with permission from Jack Turner. More on The Abstract Wild by Jack Turner at the University of Arizona Press.