Synopses & Reviews
Through the life stories of the author's grandfathers, father, uncles, and cousins, Deadfall documents the dramatic changes in the logging industry since the early 1900s. The book focuses on the influence of international timber giant Weyerhaeuser Company in the Pacific Northwest, yet its themes resonate from Alaska to the American Southeast -- wherever timber is king. While spurning nostalgia for logging's glory days, Deadfall attempts to view a future for today's timber workers.
"James LeMonds's Deadfall is a clear-eyed classic.... No matter what view readers have about the spotted owl and Big Timber, they'll find Deadfall to be first-rate reporting by a skilled writer who tells it like it is." -- William Dietrich, Pulitzer Prize-winning former correspondent for the Seattle Times and author of The Ethical Forest
"No one who reads Deadfall will ever again romanticize the logger as some superhuman mythmaker, or condemn him as a heartless woods-wrecker." -- Robert Michael Pyle, author of Wintergreen
"Honest, erudite, passionate, poignant, meticulous, and written with enormous grace and love for a dying craft and way of life." -- Brian Doyle, editor of Portland Magazine
Logging has been a way of life in the Pacific Northwest, a thread woven into the character of communities, for more than a century. And in this far corner, Jim LeMonds' family has done about every job in the woods -- working as high climbers and whistle punks, chasers and gyppos, fallers, buckers, and chokers. In this book, LeMonds documents the dramatic changes in the timber industry over the last few decades through the life stories of his grandfathers, father, uncles, and cousins. The LeMonds family navigate their lives among towering virgin timber and massive layoffs, through years of unsustainable harvest levels and implementation of federal environmental restrictions, into backwoods logging camps and subsidized retraining programs for displaced workers. While spurning nostalgia for the cut-and-run days when timber was king, Deadfall attempts to view a future for timber workers who live each day on the physical, emotional, and economic edge.