I think by now I’ve read everything by the late Edward Abbey.

It’s all great.

Abbey was the so-called “Thoreau of the American West.” He called himself an “agrarian anarchist,” a conservationist who thought wilderness deserved preservation mainly because it offers the best places to hide from federal agents.

His solution to “illegal” immigration was to “stop every campesino at our southern border, give him a handgun, a good rifle, and a case of ammunition, and send him home. He will know what to do with our gifts and good wishes. The people know who their enemies are.”

There are many collections of Abbey’s curmudgeonly essays — Down the River, The Journey Home, Abbey’s Road, to name a few — and each one’s a treasure.

His most famous and influential novel, The Monkey Wrench Gang, brims with merry rebels, but my all-time favorite is his least critically acclaimed, Good News.

The “good news” for Abbey, when he wrote the novel in the late 1970s, was that the military-industrial state was bound to collapse eventually from its own weight. Good News is about what happens after that breakdown, when a paramilitary despot tries to restore “order” among the ruins of the Southwest and meets resistance from desert freedom-fighters. It’s about, as Abbey calls it, “the oldest civil war of all” — the city vs. the country. It’s tanks and grenades vs. horses and rifles. It’s the remnant of the power elite vs. the mind-your-own-business agrarians. It’s Them vs. Us.

Good News is part sci-fi Western and part anarchist polemic. It’s largely forgotten but, thankfully, seems to always be in print.

Here’s something Abbey wrote in 1978, while he was working on Good News:

“We all know who the Enemy is. The Enemy speaks to us all the time — from the radio, on the television, on billboards, in the newspapers and slick magazines, in the halls of Congress, at the state capitol, in city hall.

“And the Enemy says, ‘Behold, how sleek and fat I have become. Am I not the wonder of the world? Am I not the richest and most powerful beast on earth? Would you turn against the thing which has enriched you, which has given you safety and security and comfort, which promises you still more wonders in the future — electronic toys, computerized thinking, a life air-conditioned from womb to grave, an existence of endless novelty, luxury, diversion, things and more things, a universe of sport and adventure and romance and travel in the softness of your armchair, the ease of your V-8 four-wheel-drive wheelchair tourism, the sedation of your living room? A painless, discreet, sedated death? And all this for so little, so very little — merely for the price of some of your independence, a bit of your freedom, a little part of your manhood or womanhood, for only a little sacrifice of your humanity and honor. …’ ”

If you haven’t yet experienced Ed Abbey, Good News is a fine place to start.

As Abbey once wrote: “Down with Empire! Up with Spring!”

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