Synopses & Reviews
A novel that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.
As the host of Radio Free Vermont — underground, underpowered, and underfoot — seventy-two-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an -undisclosed and double-secret location. With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.
In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever — seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of 'Ethan Allen Day' and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.
“rollicking…With a playful and quick-moving plot that belies the seriousness of the book’s environmental and political message, McKibben’s stirring call for recognizing the value and power of smallness in a globalized world makes for a vital and relevant fable.” Publishers Weekly
“Timely..provoctative entertainment…McKibben’s book may well be the lost sequel to Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang…” Kirkus Reviews
"I hope no one secedes, but I also hope that Americans figure out creative ways to resist injustice and create communities where everybody counts. We've got a long history of resistance in Vermont and this book is testimony to that fact."
About the Author
Bill McKibben is the author of more than a dozen books, including The End of Nature, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, and Deep Economy. A former staff writer for The New Yorker, he writes often for Harper’s Magazine, National Geographic, and the New York Review of Books, among other publications. He is the founder of the environmental organizations Step It Up and 350.org, a global-warming awareness campaign that in October 2009 coordinated what CNN called “the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history.” He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and lives in Vermont with his wife, the writer Sue Halpern, and their daughter.