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Cover image for Last stand : Ted Turner's quest to save a troubled planet
Last stand : Ted Turner's quest to save a troubled planet
Publication Information:
Guilford, Conn. : Lyons Press, ©2013.
Physical Description:
xix, 371 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Prologue: Rewilding --The making of a green capitalist : Empire of bison : Survival : My captain was aquaman : The songs of the cranes -- The green capitalist at work : Ted's side of the mountain ; Save the humans ; Flash point ; Ark of the underdogs ; Bloodlines ; Parting aspects.
Through Turner's eyes, the reader is asked to consider another way of thinking about the environment, our obligations to help others in need, and the grave challenges threatening the survival of civilization.
Geographic Term:


Call Number
333.7209 Wilkinson 2013

On Order



Entrepreneur and media mogul Ted Turner has commanded global attention for his dramatic personality, his founding of CNN, his marriage to Jane Fonda, and his company's merger with Time Warner. But his green resume has gone largely ignored, even while his role as a pioneering eco-capitalist means more to Turner than any other aspect of his legacy. He currently owns more than two million acres of private land (more than any other individual in America), and his bison herd exceeds 50,000 head, the largest in history. He donated $1 billion to help save the UN, and has recorded dozens of other firsts with regard to wildlife conservation, fighting nukes, and assisting the poor. He calls global warming the most dire threat facing humanity, and says that the tycoons of the future will be minted in the development of green, alternative renewable energy. Last Stand goes behind the scenes into Turner's private life, exploring the man's accomplishments and his motivations, showing the world a fascinating and flawed, fully three-dimensional character. From barnstorming the country with T. Boone Pickens on behalf of green energy to a pivotal night when he considered suicide, Turner is not the man the public believes him to be. Through Turner's eyes, the reader is asked to consider another way of thinking about the environment, our obligations to help others in need, and the grave challenges threatening the survival of civilization.

Author Notes

Todd Wilkinson has been a professional journalist and author for more than twenty-five years, with assignments that have taken him around the world. He is author of several books, including the critically acclaimed Science under Siege: the Politicians' War on Nature and Truth.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this fascinating, subject-approved biography of entrepreneur and CNN founder Ted Turner, journalist Wilkinson (Science under Siege: the Politicians' War on Nature and Truth)-who has covered Turner extensively since 1992-examines the billionaire's life. While the author weaves in such topics as Turner's rocky relationship with his suicidal father and his much-ballyhooed marriage to Jane Fonda-the focus here is on Turner's surprising devotion to the environment. Ranging from his concern about endangered species such as prairie dogs to instilling an appreciation of philanthropy in his five children, Turner walks the walk of his beliefs. Engaging stories about Turner's interactions with such dignitaries as former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev show him in a rarified yet relatable light. For anyone who thinks they know the man once dubbed the "Mouth of the South," this book proves there are unplumbed depths to this septuagenarian. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

Journalist Wilkinson (Science Under Siege: The Politicians' War on Nature and Truth, 1998) explores the back story of Ted Turner's evolution from media mogul and devotee of Ayn Rand to the most successful and influential green capitalist in the world. The author unravels Turner's motives behind his involvement with the United Nations, his anti-nuclear stance, and his love of buffalos and prairie dogs, and he probes Turner's troubled family history through his early years as a striving businessman and media tycoon, revealing little-known facets of Turner's complex life. Wilkinson constructs his narrative around interviews with Turner, his family and the multitude of individuals who have dealt with Turner. But the heart of the story chronicles Turner's evolving environmental consciousness, spurred on by his purchase of Hope Plantation in South Carolina in 1976. In 1987, he purchased his first ranch in Montana. Today, his "portfolio of land covers fifteen ranches, five plantations in the Deep South, a coastal barrier island, a trio of estancias in Argentina's Patagonia, a scattering of residential retreats, and an office buildingin Atlanta." Turner's famed buffalo herd now stands at around 56,000 animals, making it the largest ever maintained by one person. Under the auspices of the Turner Endangered Species Fund, a wide variety of at risk-species have gained protection on Turner's private holdings, and he has lent support for wildlife research around the globe. "[His] lands function as fountainheads of life," Wilkinson writes. Turner's burgeoning social and environmental ventures are based on his belief in the "triple bottom line," a combination of "financial balance sheets, protection of the environment, and benefits to local and larger communities." A well-wrought portrait of a visionary side of Ted Turner that may be unfamiliar to many readers.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* If Ted Turner were a superhero, as befits the extraordinary daring and scope of his singular, under-the-radar achievements, his powers would involve shape-shifting, controversy-igniting, strategic charisma, and making and giving away epic sums of money. Turner's philanthropic innovation and zeal led him to fund the work of his great mentor, Jacques Cousteau; bolster the UN; found an organization devoted to eliminating nuclear weapons; support clean water and sustainable energy initiatives; and restore and preserve vast ecosystems and diverse endangered species. Journalist Wilkinson first interviewed Turner in 1992, when the ecohumanitarian, a restless man of high curiosity, expansive thinking, and bold action, was newly married to Jane Fonda and busy with his now-famous bison herd on his majestic Montana ranch. For all his telegenic brashness, Turner is profoundly private. But he came to trust Wilkinson, and the result is this diligently detailed, keenly interpreted, and jaw-dropping portrait of a smart, prescient, independent man hard-driven by sorrow and passionately committed to doing lasting good in the world on as large a scale as possible. Wilkinson is the first to disclose the tragic story of Turner and his father and how the solace Turner has always found in nature, coupled with his momentous realization that he could only save himself by helping others, inspires his phenomenal, world-altering environmental efforts.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist