Legacy Of Luna Paperback – Mar 9 2001
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A young woman named Julia Butterfly Hill climbed a 200-foot redwood in December 1997. She didn't come down for 738 days. The tree, dubbed Luna, grows in the coastal hills of Northern California, on land owned by the Maxxam Corporation. In 1985 Maxxam acquired the previous landlord, Pacific Lumber, then proceeded to "liquidate its assets" to pay off the debt--in other words, clear-cut the old-growth redwood forest. Environmentalists charged the company with harvesting timber at a nonsustainable level. Earth First! in particular devised tree sit-ins to protest the logging. When Hill arrived on the scene after traveling cross-country on a whim, loggers were preparing to clear-cut the hillside where Luna had been growing for 1,000 years. The Legacy of Luna, part diary, part treatise, and part New Age spiritual journey, is the story of Julia Butterfly Hill's two-year arboreal odyssey.
The daughter of an itinerant preacher, Hill writes of her chance meeting with California logging protesters, the blur of events leading to her ascent of the redwood, and the daily privations of living in the tallest treehouse on earth. She weathers everything from El Niño rainstorms to shock-jock media storms. More frightening are her interactions with the loggers below, who escalate the game of chicken by cutting dangerously close to Luna (eventually succeeding at killing another activist with such tactics). "'You'd better get ready for a bad hair day!'" one logger shouts up, grimly anticipating the illegal helicopter hazing she would soon get. Celebrity environmentalists like Joan Baez and Woody Harrelson stop by, too. The notoriety has, on balance, been good to Hill and her cause. George magazine named her one of the "Ten Most Fascinating People in Politics," Good Housekeeping readers nominated her one of the "Most Admired Women" in 1998, and she was featured in People's "Most Intriguing People of the Year" issue. As a result, more Americans know about controversial forestry practices; it remains to be seen, however, whether public outrage is enough to save California's unprotected and ever-shrinking groves of redwoods. While an agreement allowed Hill to descend from her aerie and Luna to escape the saw, most of the surrounding old-growth forest in the region has been felled or will fall shortly. Still, Hill is optimistic: "Luna is only one tree. We will save her, but we will lose others. The more we stand up and demand change, though, the more things will improve." --Langdon Cook --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In December 1997, Hill (who calls herself Julia Butterfly), 23, climbed 180 feet up a redwood tree she dubbed Luna to protest the logging of northern California's ancient redwood forests. She came down two years and eight days later, after negotiating a largely symbolic deal with Pacific Lumber to preserve Luna and surrounding trees. During her "tree-sit," she lived on a makeshift platform, enduring torrential storms, harassment from loggers, doubt and loneliness. Treeborne, she communicated by cell phone, drew major media attention and received visitors like Joan Baez, Bonnie Raitt and Woody Harrelson. Now a hero of the environmental movement, Hill relives her ordeal in a dramatic first-person narrative revealing just how much she saw her protest as a spiritual quest. She prays to the Universal Spirit and preaches unconditional love of all creation. Talking and praying to Luna, she hears the tree's voice speak to her, teaching her to let go, to go with the flow. Her purple-prose epiphanies, mushy New Age ruminations and anthropomorphizing of the tree blunt her story's impact, and her gosh-oh-gee professed reluctance to become a public figure smacks of disingenuousness. Even so, her firsthand expos? of destructive forest practices (only 3% of America's majestic ancient redwood forests remain) is extremely powerful, and her book, a remarkable inspirational document, records a courageous act of civil disobedience that places her squarely in the tradition of Thoreau. Illus. 15-city TV satellite tour; author tour. (Apr.) FYI: Hill has been named one of George magazine's 10 Most Fascinating People in Politics. All of her proceeds from this book will go to the nonprofit Circle of Life Foundation.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I remember one part of the book where, after a confrontation with one of the loggers, she lowered down a photograph of herself dressed in a formal gown. Seeing her as someone he could identify with, and not just as a tree-hugging-hippy out-to-ruin-his-life-by-taking his livelihood away, shifted him.
It may be that I believe Julia is a saint, simply because I'm a tree fanatic. But I feel she has really helped shift a lot of the stagnatic energy on both sides of the tree agenda. She has a wonderful heart, and I believe most of you will be able to identify with her, just as that logger did.
The only reason I did not give this book 4 stars, is that there are parts of the writing which seem repeated or slow. But definately, read this book... it is a very unique story!
Unfortunately, this book is written somewhat unevenly. Much material is repeated throughout the book over and over. Things that could have been exceedingly interesting were not brought fully to light (ex: how the platform was put together and held in the tree). I think that while Ms. Hill is an ok writer, this book could have stood the polishing of a ghost writer.
One big disappointment that I had with this book, was the missed opportunity on Ms. Hill's part to say something really important about the environmental movement. There is no good, solid fact-based information given about logging, environmental impact, government policy, or what can/should be done. What a wasted opportunity! When this book came out, everyone was interested and the environmental movement would have benefited a great deal from the publicity this could have brought to their specific issues. Getting people excited about the environment and unified with Ms. Hill's tree sit is all fine, but if you don't back it up with information and a what-you-can do attitude, is entirely pointless.
So, if you want to be inspired by a story of a person's convictions - by all means read this book. It's not terrible.
If you want motivation to go out and do something about the environment, contact your local Cooperative Extension Office.
Most recent customer reviews
I have been looking for a copy of Julia Butterfly Hill's book for ages after attending an Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream Symposium in Sooke, British Columbia. Read morePublished on March 1 2010 by Nana
This is a great book and I enjoyed reading every page. Very inspirational and moving. Highly recommended.Published on May 28 2004
This novel is a fabulous autobiography of Julia Hill, and her experience living in a redwood tree for two whole years. Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2004
I remember Julia Butterfly Hill making her stand and remember being so proud of her (and impressed with her bravery). Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2003 by merrymousies
Julia Butterfly Hill is the Rachel Carson of our time. I loved this book ... There are very few people who "walk the walk. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2003 by James Henry - Author of Corporation YOU
This book definitely keeps your attention for the simple fact that it is so strange. I really admire this woman for living in a tree for two years for a good cause. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2003 by The Solemates
The amazing story of a young woman who spent two years of her life living in a tree, in order to help save the old growth forests near my home town in Humboldt County, CA. Read morePublished on Sept. 8 2002 by William Van Hefner
All this book teaches is about how breaking the law is okay. She was a trespasser and this book creates an example of how our personal property is in danger. Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2002
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and also found it educational. I live in California, but I didn't know what was going on in the northern part, with the logging. Read morePublished on June 29 2002
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