Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in 1962, did more than any other single publication to alert the world to the hazards of environmental poisoning and to inspire a powerful social movement that would alter the course of American history. This definitive, sweeping biography shows the origins of Carson's fierce dedication to natural science- ...
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, published in 1962, did more than any other single publication to alert the world to the hazards of environmental poisoning and to inspire a powerful social movement that would alter the course of American history. This definitive, sweeping biography shows the origins of Carson's fierce dedication to natural science--and tells the dramatic story of how Carson, already a famous nature writer, became a brillant if reluctant reformer. Drawing on unprecendented access to sources and interviews, Lear masterfully explores the roots of Carson's powerful connection to the natural world, crafting a " fine portrait of the environmentalist as a human being" (Smithsonian).
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Publishers Weekly, 1997-07-21 Those who know Carson (1907-1964) only as the author of Silent Spring, which raised America's consciousness about the environment and in particular about the negative effects of pesticides, will come away from this comprehensive biography not just with a deeper awareness of what made this woman tick but also with a more thorough understanding of how America's environmental policies evolved. Relying on Carson's extensive letters and on exhaustive interviews with various friends and colleagues, Lear, a research professor of environmental history at George Washington University, traces Carson's life in the most minute detail. We are flies on the wall as Carson, the youngest by far of three children, has her first experiences with nature under the careful tutelage of her mother. We watch as she struggles to overcome gender and social barriersæCarson spent much of her life, until her mid-life literary successes, either poor or the struggling breadwinner for poor relativesæto follow her real passion, writing. We stand by as she finds love and solace later in life in the friendship of a married woman, Dorothy Freeman. It is a story that is at once inspirational and poignant. Carson's was no easy life, but she persevered, driven by a need to write and to illuminate the miraculous natural world to just plain folks. It is impossible to read of her trials and tribulations without being moved. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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