Operation Bite Back
Operation Bite Back
Rod Coronado's War to Save American Wilderness
Bloomsbury USA, Hardcover, 9781596914582, 320pp.
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
Rod Coronado was already one of America's most notorious radical environmentalists when he launched Operation Bite Back, a war on fur farming that left a trail of burned-out labs and farms across the country and made him the subject of an intense, years-long FBI manhunt. Now his legacy has made him part of a legal battle over whether or not radical environmentalists should be prosecuted as terrorists.
With unparalleled access, Dean Kuipers takes us deep into the heart of the campaign that helped give rise to the Animal Liberation Front and its spin-off the Earth Liberation Front, groups of anonymous eco-radicals responsible for over twelve hundred acts of sabotage and a billion dollars in damages and now among the FBI's top domestic terrorist priorities even in the wake of 9/11.
From his teenage association with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Earth First to his brazen arson campaign to his reconnection with his Native American heritage among the Yaqui, Coronado's story redefines what it means to be green. Neither a biography nor a polemic about animal rights, "Operation Bite Back "tells the outlaw tale of a man who acted on well-defined principles and put his life on the line for an environmental movement that was ultimately forced to turn its back on him.
"[A] fast and furious trip into the underground of North America's environmental and animal-rights wars... Operation Bite Back is a bracing corrective to the official story, and a fascinating look at the crosscurrents of power, belief, extremism, liberty and opposing views of virtue." —Oregonian
“Kuipers delivers a searing narrative on the fringe animal-activist movement. Despite his decades of experience covering the radical environmental movement, the author is careful to remain an objective narrator, presenting much contextual detail and allowing Coronado and his peers’ brimming passion to tell the story. A provocative and careful testament to the ever-changing definition of activism.” —Kirkus, starred review
"Coronado’s outlaw adventures for the cause are electrifying, from his covert videotaping of crimes against animals to his fiery destruction of fur farms and research labs, and his spiritual and moral struggles are equally compelling and genuinely instructive. As Kuipers meticulously tracks Coronado’s intense commitment to animals and eventual rejection of violence, he illuminates the tenets of deep ecology and animal rights and provides an invaluable history of radical environmentalism, a force that may gain momentum as mainstream society fails to respond to looming crises." —Booklist, starred review"Regardless of how one views Coronado’s deeds or crimes, his legend remains intact and it is this rich terrain – as fascinating as it is disturbing – that journalist Dean Kuipers traverses in his new book... In many ways, this book is a breakthrough, for it offers a glimpse into the workings of the ALF and what Kuipers calls “its punk-anarchist sibling,” the ELF. The narrative is certainly provocative in this post-9/11 era when society and law enforcement officials have arrived at a different definition of what constitutes domestic terror." —Christian Science Monitor "It has the drama of an adventure story, but Kuipers’s tale about the Animal Liberation Front is deadly serious and has serious implications for both animal and human rights. An important book that will appeal to readers interested in environmental and social issues." - Library Journal