Press Release

New Memoir Released on NRDC's First Forty Years

NRDC Founder John Adams Publishes A Force for Nature: The Story of NRDC and the Fight to Save Our Planet

A Force for Nature

The Story of NRDC and the Fight to Save Our Planet

By John H. Adams and Patricia Adams with George Black

Foreword by Robert Redford

5-1/2 x 8 in; 400 pp ; b/w photos throughout; Hardcover

ISBN 9780811865357

NEW YORK (October 5, 2010) – The world's preeminent environmental organization began with a layer of soot on the windowsill of a Greenwich Village apartment. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) founder John H. Adams, a pioneer of environmental action, was working as a lawyer for the U.S. Attorney's office when he and fellow lawyers, outraged at the levels of pollution in the air and water, teamed up to form an environmental advocacy group. Since 1970, NRDC has grown into an international powerhouse with 1.3 million members and online activists, and a staff of scientists and lawyers whose mission is to safeguard the planet.

Find out how NRDC:

  • helped win a billion dollars for cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill
  • helped create the LEED green building guidelines
  • helped ban the use of PCBs, asbestos and carcinogenic pesticides
  • shaped the US map itself by preserving Appalachian forests, the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge and vast expanses of public land in the Rocky Mountain West
  • convinced major corporations that environmentalism can be profitable

A Force for Nature is a powerful memoir that conveys the struggles, and victories of building a large political action organization, telling the story of NRDC and the environmental movement it sparked.

About the Authors
John H. Adams was NRDC's executive director and, later, president from 1970 until 2006. He served on President Clinton's Council for Sustainable Development, and sits on the boards of numerous environmental organizations, including NRDC. He lives in New York.

Patricia Adams is a teacher, writer, and author of three books and numerous articles. She has partnered with John in their environmental life and the building of NRDC. She lives in New York. 

George Black is the articles editor of NRDC's quarterly magazine, OnEarth. He is the author of six books, including one forthcoming on Yellowstone and its relationship to violence on the western frontier. He lives in New York.

Robert Redford is an actor, director and environmental activist. He is a trustee of NRDC and the founder of Sundance, in Utah.

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