Have you ever wanted to save a river from a dam or pollution but felt frustrated by not knowing how to begin? David M. Bolling effectively channels this passion in his book How to Save a River: A Handbook for Citizen Action. Full of case studies from successful fights to stop dams on rivers such as the Chama in New Mexico and the California's Toulumne, Bolling, a former executive director of Friends of the River, guides activists step-by-step from how to found a group through how to negotiate a solution. For those unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of environmental activism, Bolling's book also offers a glimpse into the work that is necessary to become a successful grass-roots organizer. He describes how to start a media campaign, lobby, and recruit members. But Bolling says that any river crusader must first learn about and develop an attachment to a river. "You make the choice (to save a river) because the river has touched your life in an intimate and irreversible way, because you are unwilling to accept its loss."


Island Press, 1718 Connecticut Ave., Suite 300, Washington, DC 20009. Paperback: $17 hardback: $35. 300 pages, photos, index.


* Bob Wilson