Book Talk: The Ghost Forest: Racists, Radicals, and Real Estate in the California Redwoods

September 28, 2023
Please join the Cal Poly Humboldt College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the Sociology Department in welcoming Humboldt County writer and activist Greg King for a special presentation of his new book, The Ghost Forest: Racists, Radicals, and Real Estate in the California Redwoods.

The Ghost Forest: Racists, Radicals, and Real Estate in the California Redwoods

Greg King Book Talk

5:30 p.m. Thursday October 5th

Great Hall Community Center 

In 1986 King began working with a small group of college students, at then-Humboldt State University, to map, explore, and protect the very last ancient redwood groves still standing outside of parks. The venerable Pacific Lumber Company (PL) owned these primeval habitat islands, yet the previous year a Houston company, Maxxam, bought out Pacific Lumber and immediately tripled the cut of old-growth redwoods. The book covers the entire history of redwood logging and protection efforts, from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century and explores the little-known connections between redwood lumber and the rapid and forceful growth of corporations, industrial infrastructure, and wealth in the West. Redwood was so important to the rise of the West as an international powerhouse of industry and wealth that early in the twentieth century a small cadre of San Francisco industrialists created what would turn out to be the first and longest lasting example of a phenomenon that today we call “greenwashing.” King’s research into this group has now turned the “official” century-long history of redwood preservation on its head.

The Ghost Forest has earned “starred” reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal. An August 14 review in The Atlantic called The Ghost Forest, “Groundbreaking... an epic tale of corruption and deception, perpetrated on a mass scale for nearly a century.” Europe’s most prestigious literary magazine, the Times Literary Supplement, said The Ghost Forest is “Deeply researched and compellingly written,” and Science magazine wrote, "The book triumphs ... urgently of the moment. ... Greg King is an authoritative guide for this journey.”

Eureka Books will be on hand during the event to sell copies of The Ghost Forest.

This event is open to Cal Poly Humboldt students, faculty, staff and the community. Persons who wish to request disability related accommodations should contact the Sociology Department at 707-826-3139 or as soon as possible.

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