Edward Abbey: R.I.P.nby Wayne Luttonn”By retaining one’s love of such things as trees, fishes, butterflies and toads, onenmakes a peaceful and decent future a little more probable.”n— George OrwellnHayduke Lives!nby Edward AbbeynBoston: Little, Brownnand Company;n308 pp., ^18.95nWith the death of Edward Abbey,naged 62, in March of last year,nthe Western portion of what once wasnreally the United States lost her greatestndefender of the post-World War II era.nAnd Americans everywhere—but especiallynthose whose Anglo-Saxon heritagenis not for them a cause fornguilt-ridden anxiety—lost one of theirnmost courageous spokesmen. For duringna time when liberalism and conservatismnhave become virtually indistinguishablenfrom each other, here was anwriter with a growing audience whonWayne Lutton has spent most of thenpast twenty-five years in thenWest and Southwest. His mostnrecent book is Buying OpennBorders, to be publishednthis summer by the CapitalnResearch Center.n34/CHRONICLESncombined the profoundly oldfashionednAmerican values of fiercenindependence and respect for the naturalnenvironment with isolation in foreignnaffairs. Edward Abbey was partnThoreau and Lysander Spooner —nwith a heavy infusion of John T. Flynnnand Charles Lindbergh. Born andnraised on a farm in northern Appalachia,nhe hitchhiked in his late teensnthroughout the West and in 1947, afternmilitary service in Italy, returned to thenSouthwest, where he spent the remainingn42 years of his life.nClassified — and often simplyndismissed—as a “nature” writer, Abbeynstudied philosophy at the Universitynof New Mexico. And although nonauthor of recent decades was betternable to give his readers a feel for thenflora and fauna, the arid deserts andndistant mountains of the West, henwrote novels and essays that have littlento do with biological science. Rather,nin them Abbey expanded upon somenof his lifelong concerns: unquestionedneconomic growth that leaves thenlandscape — as well as most people —nworse off in the long run; the so-callednnnstewardship practiced by those statenand federal agencies responsible for thenmanagement and preservation of ournpark and wilderness areas (“They wantnthe whole West to look like an Illinoisncornfield . . . Keep that old raw crankynsmelly unpredictable Mother Naturenwhere she belongs, namely in a zoo.nOr a museum. Under glass and behindnnice neat paved nature trails”); and thenconflict between individuals who arencontent to mind their own businessnand the institutions of the state — anynstate — that demand discipline and rewardnconformity. But it was as a writernof fiction that Abbey wanted to benmost appreciated. Through the use ofnpoetic symbols — lonely cowboys, embattlednranchers, ruined cities — henhoped to dramatize his concerns. And,nlike so many authors, he dreamed ofnwriting a magnum opus, an AbbeyesquenWar & Peace,- a “fat masterpiece”nof at least a thousand pages — a wishnthat remained unfulfilled at his death.nIn the half-dozen novels that he didnwrite. Abbey managed poignantly tonconvey his dismay over the directionnAmerica had taken. Once a countryn