Jan. 20 (Monday)

Backcountry Firebrand
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 Edward Paul Abbey
Full Name: Edward Paul Abbey
Born: Jan. 29, 1927 in Indiana, Pennsylvania
Died: March 14, 1989 in Tucson, Arizona

Edward Abbey was a park ranger and spirited writer who saw the preservation of wilderness as essential not just for ecological reasons but for the human spirit. He was particularly associated with the harsh but majestic landscapes of the arid Southwest, which doubtless inspired his sentiment “May your trails be crooked.”

Abbey’s books include Desert Solitaire (one of my Bibles when I was in college) and The Monkey Wrench Gang, which was the Bible for many environmental activists. Indeed, Abbey helped precipitate the formation of the group Earth First! Not surprisingly, the FBI kept an eye on Abbey, who embraced anarchism and famously said “A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country from his government
Edward Abbey