Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet

by Edward Humes
Published by Ecco, 2009, $26.99

Reviewed by Sharon Shervington, June 5, 2009

And not a moment too soon. In addition to the uplifting stories of some whose commercial empires might make them seem like unlikely candidates for this work, Mr. Humes provides a wealth of compelling statistics about everything from the appalling rate of species extinctions per year to figures on the size of some of the world’s truly wild places. Among the moguls that we get to know are the founders of both Esprit and Burt’s Bees. We also meet the former park rangers who have become leading legal minds in the field of eco-legislation.

Mr. Humes has been writing nonfiction for many years, and it shows. With vivid prose and a grand sense of place, readers can almost feel the ambiance, the color, of such places as the wilds of Chile and Patagonia. He won the Pulitzer for the definitive yet controversial Monkey Girl, a hard look at evolution versus intelligent design and has also written extensively about the legal system, particularly in the areas of juvenile justice and mistaken identity. A wonderful website provides an exciting window into his extensive oevre.

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