"I hope you read it [the book] for whatever understanding it provides. Then, when you get a chance, go and read the living things that it came from."
This, the last sentence in the book, powerfully wraps up an engrossing examination of both sides of the controversy on logging old-growth forests. Always on the side of the environmentalists, I came to understand and sympathize with the loggers who cut them down. Not an easy task for any writer to undertake. But Dietrich has done it, and done it well. No wonder he won a Pulitzer Prize. The writing is clear and sharp, and at times, poetic in imagery. Yes, I have been to the Olympic old-growth forests of which he speaks, and he is right when he says that the minute you enter them, there is magic. Even the loggers feel this. The stories of individuals, both on the side of timber and the side of trees, eloquently speak of passions and lifestyles, battles won and lost. Anita Goos is not someone I will soon forget. Dietrich tells of men and women who choose their battles, sometimes unwillingly, but who enter the fray with hearts and minds wholly in the cause.
It is well to follow this book with "The Hidden Forest" by Jon Luoma, written seven years later.