Synopses & Reviews
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 fortieth anniversary 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.
"Her book is a cry to the reading public to help curb private and public programs which by use of poisons will end by destroying life on earth....Miss Carson, with the fervor of an Ezekiel, is trying to save nature and mankind." The New York Times
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 government to ban DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson's book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.
Rachel Carsons Silent Spring
was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker
in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carsons passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.
About the Author
Rachel Carson (1907–1964) spent most of her professional life as a marine biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By the late 1950s, she had written three lyrical, popular books about the sea, including the best-selling The Sea Around Us, and had become the Bee Plumber 76: most respected science writer in America. She completed Silent Spring against formidable personal odds, and with it shaped a powerful social movement that has altered the course of history.
Table of Contents
- Acknowledgments viii
- Introduction by Linda Lear x
- 1 A Fable For Tomorrow 1
- 2 The Obligation To Endure 5
- 3 Elixirs of Death 15
- 4 Surface Waters and Underground Seas 39
- 5 Realms of the Soil 53
- 6 Earths Green Mantle 63
- 7 Needless Havoc 85
- 8 And No Birds Sing 103
- 9 Rivers of Death 129
- 10 Indiscriminately from the Skies 154
- 11 Beyond the Dreams of the Borgias 173
- 12 The Human Price 187
- 13 Through a Narrow Window 199
- 14 One in Every Four 219
- 15 Nature Fights Back 245
- 16 The Rumblings of an Avalanche 262
- 17 The Other Road 277
- List of Principal Sources 301
- Afterword by Edward O. Wilson 357
- Index 365