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The Simple Act of Planting a Tree.

Early in this book is a passage from the playwright George Bernard Shaw: "Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of bright torch which I have got hold of for a moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations." For him, the alternative was to be "a feverish selfish clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy." Thus we might describe the two paths taken by many social activists today. I have described many books by authors who took the latter path. It makes me happy that for Christmas I can recommend a book by people who carry the bright torch of tree planting.

It is fitting that this practical, useful, and optimistic book about reforesting our cities has its origins in a city known for its cynicism, materialism, and pollution-Los Angeles. In this Philistine city, 15-year-old Andy Lipkis became a tree-planting David who, with his coauthor wife, set out not to slay Goliath but to reform him.

Katie Lipkis is a former award-winning ad writer from Australia. Together she and Andy built TreePeople into an international organization that teaches how to plant and care for trees. TreePeople's success is due in great measure to the Lipkis' ability to transfer their expertise in everything from fundraising and obtaining planting permits to fertilizing and pruning. The back of the book is a 54-page step-by-step checklist for organizing an urban-forestry program. This book is at least a bright thought for Christmas.
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Forests
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Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Previous Article:The Burning Season: The Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest.
Next Article:The Man Who Planted Trees, a Story by Jean Giono.

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