Paul Sabin at the NYT:
In 1966, Stewart Brand was an impresario of Bay Area counterculture. As the host of an extravaganza of music and psychedelic simulation called the Trips Festival, he was, according to John Markoff’s “Whole Earth,” “shirtless, with a large Indian pendant around his neck … and wearing a black top hat capped with a prominent feather.” Four decades later, Brand had become a business consultant. At a meeting with the Nuclear Energy Institute, he promoted the virtues and inevitability of nuclear power. He also wrote a book endorsing genetically modified organisms, geoengineering and urban density.
Tracing the relationship between these two Stewart Brands, and what the distance they cover might say about the American environmental movement, is Markoff’s challenging task.