This book is actually banned in Australia, as I unsderstand. I'm sure Australia is not the only country where sales and publication of the book are illegal. Do you want to know why?
I think this book is exceptionally well written, thorough, smart and interesting even for those who are not about to run around Texas with bolt cutters. It is a straight forward manual for how to prevent corporate greed (among other modern ills) from destroying this nation's remaining wilderness through acts that would be best described as sabotage, or as the "authors" call it, ecotage. The book gives you all you need to know about how to do it and how not to get caught doing it. I think the chapter on spiking trees was amazing.
The morality of the methods the authors suggest is questionable, however. The actions described are illegal and thus a lot of the book deals with security and hiding the "monkeywrencher's" identity. From dealing with guard dogs to giving anonymous interviews, this book is a comprehensive how to for covert illegal activities. This book is the kind of thing that could have been read by the Unabomber when he planned his attacks, except that the book constantly reinforces the idea that violent means against humans should never be employed and that great care should be taken to avoid harm to human life. However, virtually everything the authors suggest could lead to injury or death, the way sabotage often does. (The suggestion to spike roads used by ORVs, for example.)
I think if you are a mature and responsible adult you can read this book and enjoy it without being driven to carry out any of the acts described therein. But beware that this is one of those books that the FBI is interested in, along with the people who read it. I would not go so far as to classify Ecodefense a "how-to for terrorism," the way some in corporate America and the FBI may want to. Unfortunately the corporations have plenty of money to contribute to politicians who then direct the FBI towards such an incindiary mind set. In fact, I think the word terrorism is tossed about too carelessly these days. It makes one wonder how the book would read if it was written in 2002 rather than 1985.
The book is moderate in tone, non-violent and certainly not extremist in any sense. This is not the Turner Diaries or similar lunacy. However, it describes acts that mostly constitute the illegal destruction of private property, and while the cause may be just, and the ends may be virtuous, I think there are better and more legal means for activists to employ.
This book focusses on methods and assumes you already have the mindset to follow through. In that sense it reads more interestingly and it doesn't waste time giving the authors' political motivations or justifications.