characters in this story are western to the core and will stay with you long
after the last page. The story is
narrated by Billy, a twelve year old boy spending the summer on his
grandfather’s ranch in New Mexico. Billy
is fond of his grandfather, John Vogelin and his grandfather’s best friend, Lee
Mackie. He is looking forward to the
summer but there is trouble on the horizon.
The US Government wants to turn the ranch into part of the White Sands
Missile Testing Range. John Vogelin is
the last holdout, defying the government.
John is not about to give up the
ranch he loves and figures the government shouldn’t be taking a man’s
land. As the summer progresses neither
the federal government or John Vogelin are willing to back down. Lee tries to persuade his friend that he
cannot beat the government, but John is not about to give up his ranch. This is a story that resonates with Abbey who
once said “A Patriot Must Always Be Ready
To Defend His Country Against His Government”.
The man was a handful!
Edward Abbey was a hero to environmentalists and rebels of every stripe. With Fire on the Mountain, this literary giant of the New West gave readers a powerful, moving, and enduring tale that gloriously celebrates the undying spirit of American individualism. This fiftieth anniversary edition, with an introduction by historian Douglas Brinkley, reminds readers of Abbey's powerful conviction that "a patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
John Vogelin's land is his life--a barren stretch of New Mexican wilderness mercifully bypassed by civilization. Then the government moves in. And suddenly the elderly, mule-stubborn rancher is confronting the combined land-grabbing greed of the county sheriff, the Department of the Interior, the Atomic Energy Commission, and the U.S. Air Force. But a tough old man is like a mountain lion: if you back him into a corner, he'll come out fighting.