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by RACHEL CARSON
with introduction by Linda Lear and afterword by Edward O Wilson
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New softcover book. 380 pages. Mariner edition published 2002
The classic that launched the environmental movement
First published in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides. Rarely does a single book alter the course of history, but Rachel Carson's Silent Spring did exactly that. The outcry that followed its publication in 1962 forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land and water. Carson's passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement.
Now recognized as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century, Silent Spring exposed the destruction of wildlife through the widespread use of pesticides. Despite condemnation in the press and heavy-handed attempts by the chemical industry to ban the book, Rachel Carson succeeded in creating a new public awareness of the environment which led to changes in government policy and inspired the modern ecological movement.
The afterword, by the acclaimed Rachel Carson biographer Linda Lear, tells the story of Carson’s courageous defense of her truths in the face of ruthless assault from the chemical industry in the year following the publication of Silent Spring and before her untimely death in 1964.
About the author
Rachel Louise Carson (1907 – 1964) was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. Carson started her career as a biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her financial security and recognition as a gifted writer. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the republished version of her first book, Under the Sea-Wind, were also bestsellers. Together, her sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life, from the shores to the surface to the deep sea.
In the late 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation and the environmental problems caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented portion of the American public. Silent Spring spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy - leading to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides - and the grassroots environmental movement it inspired the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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Silent Spring by Rachel Carson