Synopses & Reviews
Here is a compelling American story--a tale of greed, fanaticism, and devotion--that ranges from the paneled boardrooms of Wall Street and Rodeo Drive to the banks of the Eel River that curve past the cavernous mills of Pacific Lumber, owner of the Headwaters Forest, the world's largest privately held stand of ancient redwoods. In this chronicle of takeover of Pacific Lumber by financier Charles Hurwitz, David Harris, brings his astonishing literary gifts, as well as his own moral passion, to the riveting and important story of the struggle to save the Headwaters Forest. Harris gives us a metaphor for the disappearance of an arguably more gentile, kinder capitalism--a capitalism that, in large measure, was responsible for an America now under siege. This is a book about how some people, often against their own will, end up killing the very thing that had long given them sustenance and shelter--the forest itself.
"Skillfully jumps from raider to resister, lawyer to logger, and weaves a compelling and very readable tale of capitalism at its modern-age rawest."--San Francisco Chronicle
"The Last Stand is provocative, and it's good entertainment. Harris' account challenges us to hold corporations to a higher standard."--Business Week
The Last Stand is a compelling American saga of greed gone wild and a small town divided over a precious natural resource.
For three generations, the Murphy family ran the Pacific Lumber Company with a tradition of both sustainable forestry and a concern for employee well-being. Their Headwaters Forest in Northern California contained three-quarters of the world's old-growth redwoods in 1985, the year in which a Texas-based conglomerate engineered a hostile takeover of PLC. The new owners quickly increased the harvest of redwoods by 300 percent, gutted the employee pension plan, and began clear-cutting acre upon acre of virgin forest.
Local environmentalists took up the fight to reverse the takeover and save the redwoods. The conflict between conservation efforts and fears of unemployment came to a head at the end of "Redwood Summer," when protesters from across the country came into town and were greeted by residents shouting insults and slinging eggs and tomatoes.
Moving from the paneled boardrooms overlooking Wall Street to the banks of the Eel River, this engrossing account chronicles the ongoing battle between environmentalists and business over irreplaceable natural resources.