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Book Review: Strangely Like War by Derrick Jensen and George Draffan May 5, 2009

Posted by Andreas in Book Reviews, Environment, Sustainable Living.

We recently spent three nights camping in Nature’s Valley, one of our favourite spots in the world. An infestation of particularly voracious mosquitos aside we had a brilliant time on the beach, on and in the estuary and hiking in the forest. This was probably both the best and the worst setting to read Strangely Like War: The Global Assault on Forests by Derrick Jensen and George Draffan.


The book is a wake-up call for anyone who loves forests and who has yet to realise the desperate state they’re in all over the world (note I’m not including tree plantations here – they are industrialised monoculture deserts that don’t qualify as forests). Read this if you think things have changed in recent times. For fans of Derrick Jensen, like myself, the book goes some way towards explaining his politics and philosophy which you may have come across in his more recent work.

We spend a couple of blissful hours walking in relatively pristine indigenous forest, one of the most revitalising and life-affirming experiences you could ever wish for. Our little hike ended on the beach and a look back revealed that what we had been walking in is merely a narrow fringe of original, indigenous forest that remains, the rest having fallen to tree farms and other agriculture, roads, etc. Driving back home along the N2, I was constantly wondering how much of this area was once covered in forests and reflecting on what humans had done to the place.

Strangely Like War is a must read for anyone who cares about the Earth’s forests. It’s a depressing read, I admit, but, like all of Jensen’s books, it will make you look differently at what we are doing to the planet.



1. Aragorn23 - May 26, 2009

The FAO has released their 2009 state of the forests report.

Chilling stuff: http://www.fao.org/docrep/011/i0350e/i0350e00.htm

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