Reading: Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben


Monday, November 13 at 7:00pm
A debut novel that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.
As the host of Radio Free Vermont—"underground, underpowered, and underfoot"—72-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an "undisclosed and double-secret location." With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.
In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever—seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of 'Ethan Allen Day' and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to a burgeoning movement.
ESTABLISHED, BESTSELLING AUTHOR: McKibben has been writing books for over 25 years and several of his books have landed on the New York Times Bestseller lists.
ICONIC STATE: With the rise of Bernie Sanders, Vermont has become synonymous with left-leaning politics and edgy democracy; the book will attract both Vermont residents and fans across the country who share the state's politics and values.
NEW POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CLIMATE: McKibben's voice will become more prominent and important than ever, and fans of his nonfiction are sure to embrace a story about state secession that seems more plausible than ever.

“Is it a surprise that the debut novel from one of our best-known environmental activists focuses on grassroots resistance? In backwoods Vermont, two radicals use an underground radio show to recruit people interested in seceding from the United States. What follows is a zany, witty, and altogether timely imagination of modern resistors.” – The Millions

"Timely..provoctative entertainment...McKibben's book may well be the lost sequel to Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang..." – Kirkus Reviews

“rollicking…With a playful and quick-moving plot that belies the seriousness of the book’s environmental and political message, McKibben’s stirring call for recognizing the value and power of smallness in a globalized world makes for a vital and relevant fable.” –Publishers Weekly

“In a time when smart comedy is essential to survival, McKibben’s shrewdly uproarious and provocative fable of resistance is exhilarating.” –Booklist (starred review)
Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist. His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he's gone on to write a dozen more books, including Eaarth and Oil and Honey. He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement. He lives in Vermont.
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