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On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

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On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson Cover

ISBN13: 9780307462206
ISBN10: 030746220x
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Published on the fiftieth anniversary of her seminal book, Silent Spring, here is an indelible new portrait of Rachel Carson, founder of the environmental movement

She loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller The Sea Around Us. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world.

Rachel Carson began work on Silent Spring in the late 1950s, when a dizzying array of synthetic pesticides had come into use. Leading this chemical onslaught was the insecticide DDT, whose inventor had won a Nobel Prize for its discovery. Effective against crop pests as well as insects that transmitted human diseases such as typhus and malaria, DDT had at first appeared safe. But as its use expanded, alarming reports surfaced of collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and its effects, which were lasting, widespread, and lethal.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. The book awakened the world to the heedless contamination of the environment and eventually led to the establishment of the EPA and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides. By drawing frightening parallels between dangerous chemicals and the then-pervasive fallout from nuclear testing, Carson opened a fault line between the gentle ideal of conservation and the more urgent new concept of environmentalism.

Elegantly written and meticulously researched, On a Farther Shore reveals a shy yet passionate woman more at home in the natural world than in the literary one that embraced her. William Souder also writes sensitively of Carson's romantic friendship with Dorothy Freeman, and of her death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

A New York Times Notable Book of 2012

“A suspenseful tale of the literary life…utterly inspiring.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Captivating…Souder writes vividly and with great empathy for his subject and her cause.” —New York Times Book Review

“A delightful, fascinating, engrossing read about some of the most important insights of modern science. You’ll find yourself thinking about Carson whenever you take a walk in the woods.” —Slate.com

Review:

"In this expansive, nuanced biography, Souder (Under a Wild Sky) portrays Carson as a woman passionate in friendship, poetic and innovative in her books about the sea, gentle but ambitious, assiduously keeping tabs on her publisher's promotion of her work. A writer since childhood, Carson, inspired by a college professor, developed a love for biology and combined her two passions in a career that included three bestselling books. A 'spinster' and professional in a time when marriage was the norm, Carson supported her family all her life, first her mother and siblings, later adopting her nephew, and followed her vision with an artist's determination. Extending beyond Carson's immediate biography, Souder meanders into the lives of writers who influenced her and devotes long sections to the hydrogen bomb and cold war anxiety about nuclear annihilation, the chemistry of pesticides like DDT and their flagrant postwar use, and an emerging understanding of ecology. Carson, under severe stress and exhaustion from a cancer that took her life, synthesized these issues in Silent Spring, a meticulously researched, policy-changing picture of an Earth poisoned by humanity; she died shortly after its publication in 1962. Fifty years later, her insights are surprisingly relevant: 'We're challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery not of nature, but of ourselves.' Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff Verrill Feldman. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

WILLIAM SOUDER is the author of two previous books, A Plague of Frogs and Under a Wild Sky, a biography of John James Audubon that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Grant, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

P A R T O N E

Water World

O N E

Miss Carson’s Book

 

T W O

Bright as the Midday Sun

 

T H R E E

Biologizing

 

F O U R

The English Connection

and the Ocean Deep

 

F I V E

This Beautiful and

Sublime World

 

S I X

Author Triumphant

 

P A R T T W O

Silent Spring

S E V E N

Dorothy

 

 

E I G H T

The Enduring Sea

 

N I N E

Earth on Fire

 

T E N

Collateral Damage

 

E L E V E N

High Tides and Low

 

Epilogue

 

Acknowledgments

 

Notes

 

Bibliography

 

Index

 

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jmhill926, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by jmhill926)
Terrific read, a chance to learn about Carson as a person and about the events that shaped her times and work. The sections on previous environmental writers and on atomic bomb testing helped me understand how her famous works fit in a larger story - how we talk to our selves about how we influence our planet.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307462206
Author:
Souder, William
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-PAGE BandW INSERT
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 x 1.6 in 1.75 lb

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Related Subjects


Biography » General
Featured Titles » Biography
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
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Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson Used Hardcover
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Product details 512 pages Crown Publishing Group (NY) - English 9780307462206 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this expansive, nuanced biography, Souder (Under a Wild Sky) portrays Carson as a woman passionate in friendship, poetic and innovative in her books about the sea, gentle but ambitious, assiduously keeping tabs on her publisher's promotion of her work. A writer since childhood, Carson, inspired by a college professor, developed a love for biology and combined her two passions in a career that included three bestselling books. A 'spinster' and professional in a time when marriage was the norm, Carson supported her family all her life, first her mother and siblings, later adopting her nephew, and followed her vision with an artist's determination. Extending beyond Carson's immediate biography, Souder meanders into the lives of writers who influenced her and devotes long sections to the hydrogen bomb and cold war anxiety about nuclear annihilation, the chemistry of pesticides like DDT and their flagrant postwar use, and an emerging understanding of ecology. Carson, under severe stress and exhaustion from a cancer that took her life, synthesized these issues in Silent Spring, a meticulously researched, policy-changing picture of an Earth poisoned by humanity; she died shortly after its publication in 1962. Fifty years later, her insights are surprisingly relevant: 'We're challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery not of nature, but of ourselves.' Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff Verrill Feldman. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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