Radical Environmental and Animal Liberation Movements
by Donald R. Liddick
October 2006, 200pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-275-98535-6
$64, £48, 54€, A92
eBook Available: 978-0-313-04294-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A vivid introduction to eco-terrorism in the United States, covering such groups as PETA, ALF, and ELF.

Radical environmentalism and its progeny, eco-terrorism, is a modern phenomenon. It is a movement far removed from the elite conservationists of the late 1800s and the mainstream environmental groups that emerged later. Drawn from the same pool of concerned individuals who comprise memberships in groups like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and the Wilderness Society, disaffected environmentalists have turned from political lobbying to direct action in the form of widespread property destruction and other types of crime and terror. Here, the author exposes the activities of radical groups determined to make their mark in the movement to protect the earth and its creatures from those they view as predators. He covers the major groups as well as less well-known ones and provides a careful portrait of who they are, what they do, and how to address them.

The growth, from the 1980s through the present day, of organizations involved in eco-terror is noticeable and significant. Such groups have caused millions of dollars worth of damage throughout the country. The FBI estimates that the ALF/ELF have committed more than 600 criminal acts in the United States since 1996, resulting in damages in excess of $43 million. Tactics include pulling up survey stakes, tree-spiking, arson, and other methods. Most groups will claim responsibility for their actions, just as other types of terrorist groups will take responsibility for theirs.

Eco-Terrorism takes an objective look at the most radical groups and their terrorist activities in the United States, including case examples and analysis of the methods and rhetoric the groups employ. It uncovers the losses both to individuals and the community as a result of these methods, and it describes the ideologies, motivations, history, and activities of the political movements that have been labeled environmental terrorism.


"In this study of criminality within the radical environmental movement, Liddick promises to pursue and present research findings in an evenhanded manner, noting that the term terrorism does not seem to be warranted in descriptions of radical environmentalist tactics. Nonetheless, he refers to all such acts as eco-terrorism and concludes by speculating that some ecoradicals would not hesitate to destroy humankind in order to save the planet and its nonhuman inhabitants. The author offers a typology of radical tactics along with data on recent actions that suggest increasing tendencies toward violence, in combination with a public opinion survey and interviews with accused or incarcerated activists that show some attitudinal support for his thesis....[t]his book provides a decent introduction to its subject. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice, April 1, 2007

"Adopting the terminology of the hard right in the US, Liddick explains not only how environmental and animal rights movements break laws, but also explains what they think and how they feel while they do it."—Reference & Research Book News, February 1, 2007
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