To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness, and Greed Paperback – May 17, 2006
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a book about so many things--the natural history of British Columbia and the offshore islands, the heritage of the Haida and other island British Columbian tribes, the lives of the courageous men who felled trees for logging companies in the 1900's, and the life of logger-turned-activist Grant Hadwin, who felled a magnificent and one-of-a-kind-tree. Vaillant weaves a compelling tale of the formation of the islands and the native tribes, who first gained wealth trading sea otter pellets with the Europeans. When that business dried up, there were tough times until the logging business picked up. One tree, the Golden Spruce of myth and legend, was spared by the logging conglomerates as a publicity stunt, until Hadwin came along.
Vaillant sets up the story well, priming the reader with history and science until Hadwin comes into the picture. I only have two criticisms of the book. (1) Hadwin is kind of "snuck in" to the story. Vaillant speaks of Hadwin's uncle Angus and then brings Hadwin in without introducing him as the man the Golden Spruce story is about. Unless the reader read the inner jacket, they have no idea why they are reading about this Hadwin (or Angus) character for so long. (2) There are no pictures of the mythical Golden Spruce, other than the cover shot, which looks to be altered so that it stands out more than the other green trees. I'm not even sure if the cover shot is genuine or an artist's rendition.Read more ›
This book is a manifesto, a cry for worldwide attention of the destruction forces of human nature, against the mindless consumerism that exterminates the landmarks of the natural world.
I loved this book. I enjoyed reading about the intricacies of a profession, which claims more lives each year than many other high risk jobs. I was captured in the narrative on the delicate nature of this very complex organism - the tree. I was amazed to learn of another miracle of the Earth - the Golden Spruce, this landmark of biology that survived despite all odds. I was saddened to find out of yet another disappearing Indian nation, that of the Haidas.
Beautifully written, containing a wealth of information on an industry I knew little about, it narrates a story about the act of a sick man and his effort to attract worldwide attention to the right issue via the wrong deed. But in the end, the story begs the question - Is sometimes the sword mightier than the pen? You decide, reader.
This book is wonderful and should be on the reading list of all high schools. Young adults must learn about the consequences of logging, the result of defaced lands and their effect on the world's environment.
- by Simon Cleveland
Vaillant is a majestic writer. His historical description of Canada's Northwest Coastal forest in British Columbia is superb. The author carefully details how the Northwest forests support more living tissue, by weight, than an other eco system, including the Equatorial jungle. He also reports how the Queen Charlotte Islands were the historical territory of the Haida People, who call their home Haida Gwaii. The Haida People knew the Golden Spruce was exceptional and called it "K'iid K'iyaas" for the Elder Spruce Tree.
The woodcutter has been the point man for Western civilization. Some loggers are good, considerate road builders. Unfortunately, most loggers are extremely wasteful and rape the earth. Grant Hadwin was a rugged woodcutter and intelligent road builder who detested the giant corporations that destroyed vast forests with little concern for fundamental environmental considerations. Over time Hadwin leaves his wonderful family...becomes mentally unglued...and commits a great crime. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my all time favourite books. I was fascinated by the story and myths and truths and suspense. You have to read this. Well written - I could not put this book down.Published 22 days ago by elinam
Before reading this book, I didn't know anything about the temperate rainforest homeland, or about the Haida people. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Janet Marie
Haida Gwaii or the Queen Charlottes is a place of myth, awe, and superlatives where the normal laws of nature seem not to apply. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Garth R. Mailman
My husband loved this book and he is NOT a reader. He enjoyed it since he is very much into the outdoors. It gave great history and had nice character development. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Aklukuk
I thought it provided a very good history of the west coast timber industry.Published 2 months ago by Fred J Flanders
This was a good book to read about Alaska and what has happened to the forests in this area.Published 2 months ago by Mary Magneson
very interesting about the vast scale of things up in the Pacific Northwest, the history of logging, the native people up there... Read morePublished 3 months ago by king toot
An interesting story weaved into an education (for me) on the history of the timber industry and the failure to protect what was thought to be an unlimited resource but is not.Published 6 months ago by G. Erb
Well written and researched. Vaillant's writting style is captivating. However, I am disappointed that the author did not make territorial acknowledgements at the start of the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by John Smith