Eco-terrorist sentenced to read Malcolm Gladwell

Remedial reading … Malcolm Gladwell, author of “David and Goliath”

An eco-terrorist has been ordered to read a book by Malcolm Gladwell as part of her sentence. Rebecca Rubin received her five-year prison sentence in Portland, Oregon on Monday from US district court judge Ann Aiken, Oregon press reported.

Rubin, an animal and environmental rights activist, had admitted participating in a number of arsons and attempted arsons, including the burning of wild horse corrals, between 1997 and 2001. She learned she had been charged with the offences in 2006, “was alarmed and terrified to see herself compared to Osama bin Laden in the news,” her defence reads, and went on the run. In late 2012, she handed herself in.

In a letter to the judge, Rubin wrote that ever since she was a child, when her favourite books were Charlotte’s Web and Beautiful Joe – “both of which centre on mistreated non-human protagonists” – animals and the natural world “have always been for me a source of profound joy, wonder and solace, and their mistreatment and destruction a source of indescribable pain…”