Billy Vogelin Starr returns home to his beloved New Mexico after nine months away at school only to find his grandfather in a standoff with the United States Government. It seems the government wants to take his land and turn it into an extension of the White Sands Missile Range.
lthough facing the combined powers of the U.S. County Sheriff, the Department of the Interior, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the U.S. Air Force, John Vogelin stands his ground; he does this because to Vogelin, his land is his life and when backed into a corner, a tough old man like him will come out fighting. Here Abbey gives us a page turner that shows us what one determined individual can do in the face of overwhelming legal and military power as he fights to save his livelihood.
Finished two weeks before his death, and published posthumously, A Voice Crying in the Wilderness is a collection of aphorism and common sense wisdom filled with sarcastic, witty, and inspirational thoughts on the things Edward Abbey loved most, especially nature and freedom.Abbey chose each passage himself from his own journals as well as from his previous writings. In his own words, some of the notes "may be unconscious plagiarisms from the great and dead (never steal from the living and mediocre)."
In Abbey’s own style that is sometimes curmudgeonly, sometimes sarcastic, and often witty, he talks about nearly everything including politics, writing, sex, and sports. But as an uncompromising environmentalist, Abbey shines when talking about nature and the environment.
Abbey’s last wish was to be buried in an unmarked grave somewhere out in the vast desert he loved so much. A Voice Crying in the Wilderness is an enduring signal about that desert from one of the singular American thinkers of our times.
Jack Burns is a cowboy and a man out of time. He has a steadfast refusal to accept the what he perceives as the tyranny of the twentieth century world he lives in and instead, Burns opts to ride his feisty chestnut mare across the New West--what was once a beautiful, unblemished land but that is now tarnished by airstrips and superhighways. He rejects contemporary society, refuses to register for the draft, and cuts down any and all fences he encounters.
It is this personal code of ethics and way of being that get Jack into trouble with the law, and soon enough he finds himself running from the very thing that could break his spirit--a fight for his freedom which, if caught, he may have to swap for the confinement of a grubby jail cell. The novel was adapted into the 1962 film Lonely Are the Brave starring Kirk Douglas.