Give Gifts Top Banner

Home » Issues » Beyond Prisons » Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!


Diary of an Eco-Outlaw: An Unreasonable Woman Breaks the Law for Mother Earth

YES! reviews the latest book from offbeat activist Diane Wilson.
Document Actions

Eco-Outlaw cover

Diary of an Eco-Outlaw

by Diane Wilson
Chelsea Green Publishing
256 pages, $17.95


Support YES! when you buy here from an independent bookseller.

Environmentalist, writer, and spitfire Edward Abbey coined a term with his most-admired book, The Monkey Wrench Gang. Now imagine a one-woman gang, climbing 75 feet up a chemical-spewing smokestack at a plastics plant in rural Southeast Texas, dropping a spray-painted banner that declares, “Remember Bhopal.” How did she get there? Isn’t India just about as far from rural Texas as you could imagine?

That character, in Diary of an Eco-Outlaw, is not fictional. She’s a mom of five—her youngest is a honky-tonk-blasting autistic 16-year-old boy—living in a trailer in a company town owned by Dow Chemical/Union Carbide/Alcoa, depending on which way the corporate winds blow. She’s also a high-profile environmental activist, who began by trying to protect the Gulf Coast bays where her family had worked as shrimpers for generations, a story told in her earlier book An Unreasonable Woman.

audio icon bigListen to Diane Wilson talk about trying to pull off a hunger strike in Texas, and the isolating experience of being in prison. Audio courtesy of Allan Campbell, KOOP radio

This is Diane Wilson’s rollicking tale of how she was moved to action by the infamous tragedy in ​Bhopal, where lethal fumes from a Union Carbide chemical plant killed thousands overnight. Sometimes Wilson raises hell just for the sake of it, but she also connects a senseless tragedy and the pain of mothers half a world away to her own family and community. It takes some elbow grease to reveal the connections between Texas and India, not to mention wine and cheese with Dick Cheney. Read on.

Kristin Kolb wrote this review for Beyond Prisons, the Summer 2011 issue of YES! Magazine. Kristin is a writer living in Seattle.


Email Signup
Beyond Prisons
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus

You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.

Issue Footer

Personal tools