The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed

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Random House, Jul 9, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages

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On a bleak winter night in 1997, a British Columbia timber scout named Grant Hadwin committed an act of shocking violence: he destroyed the legendary Golden Spruce of the Queen Charlotte Islands. With its rich colours, towering height and luminous needles, the tree was a scientific marvel, beloved by the local Haida people who believed it sacred.

The Golden Spruce tells the story of the sadness which pushed Hadwin to such a desperate act of destruction - a bizarre environmental protest which acts as a metaphor for the challenge the world faces today. But it also raises the question of what then happened to Hadwin, who disappeared under suspicious circumstances and remains missing to this day.

Part thrilling mystery, part haunting depiction of the ancient beauty of the coastal wilderness, and part dramatic chronicle of the historical collision of Europeans and the native Haida, The Golden Spruce is a timely portrait of man's troubled relationship with a vanishing world.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

The first third of the book is some of the finest nature writing I have ever read. Now almost 15 years old, this book has lost none of its power or urgency in light of the world's denuded old growth forests. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - splinfo - LibraryThing

Came away wondering if people who live in the Pacific Northwest know about this amazing story! A sacred tree is felled in the middle of the night to protest rampant timber harvesting. Story revolved ... Read full review

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About the author (2015)

John Vaillant has written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, and Men's Journal among others. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and children. Of particular interest to Vaillant are stories that explore collisions between human ambition and the natural world. His work in this and other fields has taken him to five continents and five oceans. The Golden Spruce is his first book.

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