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Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth Paperback


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Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth + An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 1 edition (April 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603582150
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603582155
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,354,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews-
In her down-home, sassy style, an environmental activist tells of her latest battles against polluting corporations.  Longtime Code Pink activist Wilson's sequel to An Unreasonable Woman: The True Story of Shrimpers, Politics, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas continues the saga of her direct actions against those who raise her ire. Still outraged by the 1984 Bhopal disaster caused by Union Carbide (now a division of Dow Chemical), she chained herself to a 75-foot oxide tower at Dow, where she hung a banner reading "Dow Responsible for Bhopal." Removed and arrested, she writes vividly of her treatment and the grim conditions at the county jail. Out on bond, she headed off in search of Warren Anderson, Union Carbide's chief executive at the time of the Bhopal disaster, first in Vero Beach, FL, and then in Bridgehampton, NY-a largely futile adventure, but one that she relates with great gusto. Wilson also proudly describes her noisy protest at a Texas fundraiser attended by then-Vice President Dick Cheney, where, disguised as a Republican donor, she screamed "Corporate Greed Kills" repeatedly until being thrown out, arrested and jailed. That she has deep skepticism of the EPA's criminal investigators is shown in her rather rambling story of working with whistleblowers who have inside information about hazardous conditions and cover-ups at Formosa Plastics, a local chemical plant. Perhaps her most dramatic public action was her appearance at the Senate hearings where Tony Hayward, then chief executive of BP, was testifying about the Deep Horizon oil spell. She poured a half-gallon of Karo syrup (which resembles crude oil) over herself before being removed and arrested yet again. At the book's end, the author is in Taiwan, attempting to present Code Pink's negative Black Planet Award to the family heading Formosa Plastics.  A folksy memoir from a gutsy, determined, well-connected gadfly who can write up a storm when not storming the barricades.



"When this fiery fisherwoman from small-town Texas with five kids and a high school education takes on the world's most polluting polluters--Formosa, Union Carbide/Dow, BP and, for good measure, Halliburton--watch out! You won't be able to put this one down. Having joined Diane in crashing Congressional hearings, bursting into corporate boardrooms, and shivering in the clinker, I can attest that Diane breaks all molds. She has no fear, knows no bounds, acts with her gut, and lives life with her heart. If that weren't enough, she is one of those rare gems whose writing is as unique and awe-inspiring as her life! Hollywood couldn't come up with a more original, inspirational character, nor could they find a more creative writer to spin her tale."--Medea Benjamin, cofounder of CODEPINK and Global Exchange



"Diane Wilson is a true hero. An outlaw in the Robin Hood tradition, she defies laws that serve modern feudal corporate barons in order to protect the rest of us. Her Diary is the fast-paced story of a most reasonable woman, a true-life odyssey that should be read by everyone who wants to live -- and pass on to our children -- a sane, sustainable, just, and genuinely thriving world."--John Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Hoodwinked, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and The Secret History of the American Empire.



"Another ecothriller from the powerhouse Diane Wilson. An unstoppable tale of true bravery. Mesmerizing, inspiring, awesome. I love it. This book will shake the ground beneath your feet."--Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and Pinhook



"Who would have guessed there could ultimately be such sweet joy blossoming from such heartbreaking dishonesty and howling raw pain? The beauty of Diane Wilson's soul will make tears of pride and patriotism spring from your eyes. The beauty of Diane Wilson's soul will give you hope for humanity-even those of you who are not generally disposed toward such dangerous optimisms. She has written another magnificent book."--Rick Bass, author of Nashville Chrome and Colter: The True Story of the Best Dog I Ever Had



"What taboos would you violate to stand up for what you love? Diane Wilson grabs unsuspecting readers from all walks of life by the guts in her sweet Texas lilt. She knows other people's suffering as her own, but she is always fully herself. She strips away the writer's ego and grandiose language to expose extraordinary evil and inspire us to act."--Aquene Freechild, Former U.S. Co-coordinator, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal



"Our country's real heroes are ordinary people like Diane Wilson-people willing to to battle the bastards to make a difference. Hers is a story that will make you laugh and make you cry, and even make you act. Diane's dedication is inspirational to all grassroots agitators for justice."--Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of The Hightower Lowdown



"For my money, Diane Wilson is one of the best Texas writers, with a voice of wild, ringing, hair-raising beauty."--Robert Leleux, Texas Monthly

About the Author

Diane Wilson is an eco-warrior in action. A fourth-generation shrimper, Wilson began fishing the bays off the Gulf Coast of Texas at the age of eight. By 24, she was a boat captain. In 1989, while running her brother's fish house at the docks and mending nets, she read a newspaper article that listed her home of Calhoun County as the number one toxic polluter in the country. She set up a meeting in the town hall to discuss what the chemical plants were doing to the bays and thus began her life as an environmental activist. Threatened by thugs and despised by her neighbors, Wilson insisted the truth be told and that Formosa Plastics stop dumping toxins into the bay.

Since then, she has launched legislative campaigns, demonstrations, and countless hunger strikes to raise awareness for environmental and human rights abuses.

Wilson speaks to the core of courage in each of us that seeks to honor our own moral compass, and act on our convictions. She has been honored with a number of awards for her work, including: National Fisherman Magazine Award, Mother Jones's Hell Raiser of the Month, Louis Gibbs' Environmental Lifetime Award, Louisiana Environmental Action (LEAN) Environmental Award, Giraffe Project, Jenifer Altman Award, Blue Planet Award and the Bioneers Award.

She is also a co-founder of CODEPINK, the Texas Jail Project, Texas Injured Workers, Injured Workers National Network and continues to lead the fight for social justice.



Derrick Jensen is the prize-winning author of A Language Older than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, Listening to the Land, Strangely Like War, Welcome to the Machine, and Walking on Water. He was one of two finalists for the 2003 J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, which cited The Culture of Make Believe as "a passionate and provocative meditation on the nexus of racism, genocide, environmental destruction and corporate malfeasance, where civilization meets its discontents." He writes for The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, and The Sun Magazine among many others.  He is an environmental activist and lives on the coast of northern California.


More About the Author

Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation shrimper, began fishing the bays off the Gulf Coast of Texas at the age of eight. By 24 she was a boat captain. In 1989, while running her brother's fish house at the docks and mending nets, she read a newspaper article that listed her home of Calhoun County as the number one toxic polluter in the country. She set up a meeting in the town hall to discuss what the chemical plants were doing to the bays and thus began her life as an environmental activist. Threatened by thugs and despised by her neighbors, Diane insisted the truth be told and that Formosa Plastics stop dumping toxins into the bay.

Her work on behalf of the people and aquatic life of Seadrift, Texas, has won her a number of awards including: National Fisherman Magazine Award, Mother Jones's Hell Raiser of the Month, Louis Gibbs' Environmental Lifetime Award, Louisiana Environmental Action (LEAN) Environmental Award, Giraffe Project, Jenifer Altman Award, and the Bioneers Award. She is co-founder of Code Pink and continues to lead the fight for social justice.

An Unreasonable Woman is Diane's first book.

Customer Reviews

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The book reads well having been written in a casual, conversational manner.
Randall T. Karle
I live in the local area that this book is about and it really brings to light some truths that are hidden from most people!
sharonlily
Inevitably, she was involved in launching one of my favorite peace groups, CodePink.
David C N Swanson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David C N Swanson on April 20, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an hilariously entertaining book of an almost impossible sort.

For years I've met fulltime hardcore activists full of powerful and colorful stories that I thought I knew would die with them. Most people are tragically and frustratingly allergic to writing anything down. Wilson is an all-out activist, a Gulf Coast shrimper turned civil resister who has made herself a major thorn in the side of several multinational corporations. She's part Forest Gump, part Erin Brokovich, part Daniel Berrigan, and she has put her stories down on paper. Her book is a guide to becoming a one-person justice movement.

Wilson has not only lived as a shrimper who experienced the arrival of the polluting chemical companies that would kill off the shrimp, but she has put that experience into context -- and I mean context.

So a woman who had struggled to become a shrimper in a man's world became an activist, a resister, a hunger-striker, and an aid to whistleblowers, not to mention an author. Wilson very rapidly developed into the kind of activist who will act immediately upon the wildest idea available. When Union Carbide / Dow was poisoning her corner of Texas, while shortchanging the victims of a disaster the company had caused in India, Wilson scaled a fence, climbed a tower, dropped a banner, and chained herself up. Wilson declared herself an unreasonable woman and announced the need for more of the same. Inevitably, she was involved in launching one of my favorite peace groups, CodePink.

One of Wilson's more entertaining stories involves her sneaking into a fundraiser to protest then-Vice President Dick Cheney. Another is when she decides to sink her boat on top of an illegal discharge pipe, the Coast Guard tries to stop her, and a surprising ally takes her side.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Darrell Koerner on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Diane Wilson is a Freedom Fighter in the never-ending battle to represent the Rights of Mother Earth. "Diary of an Eco-Outlaw" is her testament and exmple for the rest of us - the last 25 pages of this book will bring you to your knees in tears of gratitude and soul-opening recognition of Diane's total commitment to truth. This woman is a true American hero and this book is one of the greatest environmental memoirs/manifestos ever written... period.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By haskpts VINE VOICE on June 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A Brockovich-ian saving grace showing that one person CAN make a huge difference.

From the islands to the cities, from the ports into the sea. We are strong, we will always be....
Blazing through the wreckage, burning all we see.... The life we lead, committed to be free...
Our union is a fortress! Together we are bound. A common bound in freedom, and in sound!!!
So raise your voices high! For miles around to hear. Let them know, we are drawing near...

Anti-pollution lawsuits, congressional petitions, protests and whatever Diane Wilson-like functions one can mange would be a blessing towards Mother Earth.

"Diary Of An Eco-Outlaw" is of concern to all Americans and to all people on the globe. Diane's often gruff but to the point manner showed her determination when fighting "Golith".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By aliled VINE VOICE on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Diane Wilson's put herself on the line for environmental causes again and again, with often positive and nearly always humorous results. The daughter of a Gulf Coast fisherman, and a shrimper herself, Wilson tends to downplay her (obvious) intelligence and wit in order to emphasis the idea that anyone one of us could - and probably should - stand up for basic forms of justice, like workplace safety, punishment of corporate malfeasance and simple human rights.

Wilson's writing is folksy and funny. Sometimes I found myself marveling at just how she got herself into some of the situations described in the book. She's a lot craftier (in the good sense) than she lets on, which only increases her fundamental charm. Given her relative lack of education, a somewhat economically impoverished upbringing and the odd current calamity, one has to admire the fact that she's standing up proudly, even for those of us who've been blessed with more advantages than she's had. Diane Wilson is a new hero for me - you'll laugh at her chutzpah and humor, gain respect for her achievements and daring.

Don't be put off by the focus on "eco-outlaw" - Wilson is no nutcase, but rather someone appalled at the lack of media coverage and government oversight over ruinous actions and activities, and she feels - quite rightly - that you'd see these situations with the same sort of common sense and compassion she does, if only you knew the truth.

A fine and funny book. I couldn't put it down!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on June 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
How can a hero like Diane Wilson sell herself short? A person who travels the globe to fearlessly speak truth to power? Who strategizes, inspires and organizes others to fight the good cause against impossible odds?

In "Diary of an Eco-Outlaw", at issue are the three Ms. Wilson's that are present. The first is the folksy, school-of-hard-knocks fisherwoman from small town Texas who uses phrases like, 'Well, oh my gosh and oh my gosh'. The second is the Ms. Wilson who delights at sharing her adventures in protest, from an arrest that stemmed from hanging a banner at a Dow Chemical plant in Texas to the famous Karo syrup incident at the Tony Hayward hearings in Washington, D.C. and more. The third is the self-evidently intelligent person who has the wherewithal to gather and document evidence against corporate polluters while taking the rare step to assiduously journal her daily activities for posterity.

The problem is that the first two Ms. Wilson's effectively drown out the third. For example, there is perhaps too much introspection from the down-home Ms. Wilson who, it might reasonably be argued, seems to have a working-class Jesus complex that manifests in an obssession with jail and punishment ('I didn't care if there was no hope...I could go to jail.'). More problematically, we spend most of our time with the adventurous Ms. Wilson who takes the reader from action to action in a manner that, at times, comes perilously close to thrill-seeking ('the first day was so much fun...'). Unfortunately, the intelligent Ms. Wilson, who has clearly obtained a mastery of the issues over decades of fighting irresponsible corporate polluters, is given short shrift.
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