When you're right, you're right, and when Philip
Fradkin worked for the Los Angeles Times from 1964-1975 as that
paper's first environmental reporter, and for Audubon from 1976-81
as that magazine's first Western editor, he often batted 1,000.
Fradkin recalls those days in his book of collected essays,
Wanderings of an Environmental Journalist: In Alaska and the
American West. Fradkin, author of A River No More, foretold the
disaster that occurred when the Exxon Valdez tanker dumped 11
million gallons of oil into Alaskan waters. And his interviews with
angry ranchers in Nevada illuminated the so-called Sagebrush
Rebellion of the 1970s. Fradkin is also generous, harking back to
the wonderful Harper's magazine columns by Bernard DeVoto. DeVoto,
an historian and close friend of Wallace Stegner, tried to alert
conservationists to the ranchers' move to hand over control of
public lands to the states. In epilogues, Fradkin revisits his
stories, including one about the energy boom that almost burst
Craig, Colo., at its seams. He finds the town now subdued and
perhaps "just normal." He warns us, though, that "there certainly
will be another energy crisis, and history will repeat itself."
University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque,
N.M.: Cloth: $24.95. 273 pages. Illustrations by Michael Taylor.