Silent Spring

Silent Spring

Book - 2002
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First published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962, Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. "Silent Spring became a runaway bestseller, with international reverberations . . . [It is] well crafted, fearless and succinct . . . Even if she had not inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest nature writers in American letters" (Peter Matthiessen, for Time's 100 Most Influential People of the Century).
This edition celebrates Rachel Carson's watershed book with a new introduction by the author and activist Terry Tempest Williams and a new afterword by the acclaimed Rachel Carson biographer Linda Lear, who 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.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2002.
Edition: 40th anniversary edition
ISBN: 9780618253050
Branch Call Number: 363.7384 CARSON R
Characteristics: xix, 378 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm.


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From Library Staff

Silent Spring reveals the painful reality of unrestricted use of pesticides to every animal in the food web, including predators of mosquitoes.
This influential book is criticized by chemical manufacturers who claim pesticides are necessary to fight the spread of malaria by mosquitoes.

From the critics

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Dec 08, 2020

It’s nearly 60 years since "Silent Spring" was written and I see now why Carson is regarded as the conscience-raiser of the environmental movement. With meticulously checked data regarding the effects of thousands of multi-syllable poisons (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides), she rattles off case after case after case of destruction. They are in our air, soil and water and absorbed into the food we eat. She enables the reader to see the interconnection of all life affected by these poisons – insects, worms, birds, fish, grain crops, vegetables, pets, cows and their milk, humans – all have died or been sickened in enormous numbers. As a child in the 1950s I recall the nightly spraying of DDT up and down the streets of the summer lake resort we went to. I find myself wondering if sicknesses and physical damage I now experience was due to this. I also wonder if this serious caution has truly been heard by those in positions of power and responsibility. Or is it still all about economics??

Jul 31, 2020

Not too technical for me but a boring read.

Oct 23, 2019

Sixty yrs later, I am most thankful for the the eye opening book into the harms of pesticides to the environment and all species in this world. Rachel Carson was a ground breaker revealing the harm done by pesticides and leading to the development of the EPA. Anytime Big business controls the narrative, the consumer can easily falls victim to a companies pursuit of making money at all cost regardless to the harm to the environment. Big business and propaganda seem to hand and hand. Ms Carson researched and wrote a book which resulted in enough knowledge for the consumer to demand change. Agreed, great reading for HS students to increase their empathy as adults

Oct 20, 2019

this is an important book that every high school student should be required to read. I was not exposed to it till this year. This book would have changed the course of my career.

May 29, 2019

Very amazing and we see the same agenda by Monsanto and the chemical companies as well as collusion by federal agencies to suppress science findings. Our kids gave up on their beehives after several seasons of beehive colony collapse that reduced our 6 hives down to two. Our hive of Italian bees produced 225 pounds of honey one season and the next season the bees disappeared. The neonicotinoids related to colony collapse have been banned in Canada but not here.

Apr 12, 2017

This is a great and eye-opening piece of nonfiction. Carson writes not only with the authority of her scientific research and knowledge, but in a prose that seems to transport you to the scenes of nature she is yearning to protect. If you want more background on the importance of environmental law and the Environmental Protection Agency, this is a good starting place. Many "science-y" books are chopped full of technical jargon and concepts, Carson breaks down the science and actually teaches you, rather than lecturing facts at you.

Apr 04, 2017

In this classic work of 1962, biologist Rachel Carson details alarming, detailed accounts of the ecologically and biologically disastrous effects of applying chemicals to our environment. As a reader 55 years later, I was simultaneously aghast and hopeful that, surely, what we've learned from the science in the last half-century results in fewer haphazard and negligent practices. However, given the recent threats to the EPA, an agency whose mission is to protect human health and the environment, I'm no longer feeling that optimism.

Nov 18, 2012

Basically, this book is a truckload of propaganda about how we're killing all of the earth with pesticides. But if you can slog through the tedious language, it's worth reading.

I might try this book.

Nov 19, 2011

the book that first described the dangers of widespread use of pesticides, written with scientific accuracy and human emotion.

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