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Paperback Silent Spring Book

ISBN: 0395683297

ISBN13: 9780395683293

Silent Spring

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

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... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Thank God For Rachel Carson and Her Courage!

The legacy of Rachel Carson's famous work is living on today and is still the nemesis of the chemical industry. It appears that a few chemical snake-oil pushers and/or their apologists have been leaving bad reviews amongst the mostly glowing reviews, confirming the success and timeless message of Carson's work long after her passing in 1964. Indeed, *Silent Spring* is still one of the most referenced works when it comes to environment and chemical contamination of the environment. One will understand why after reading this monumental achievement. Ms Carson's work put environment and ecology squarely into our collective consciousness and part of that success is owed, inadvertently, to the chemical manufacturers who ruthlessly attacked her as a person and the integrity of her work. She was called before congress to testify about the dangers of pesticide/herbicide use and to prove her work while simultaneously being challenged by scientists and chemical manufacturer representatives. The outcome was that chemicals such as DDT, which were wiping-out non-targeted life forms such as the Bald Eagle, were eventually banned from use in the U.S. The controversy over pesticide use stirred-up another important issue and that was the chemical manufacturers insidious influence of university-level research. Manufacturers have always funded university research with rich grants for which they expect data to support their products success in the market-place. Researchers are often coerced by threat of loosing funding or their credibility challenged if their findings are not favorable to industry. Unfortunately, a few of those researchers are gladly willing to take part in this nefarious pseudo-science and seem not to loose any sleep over it. After the backlash of government and public outcry caused by Ms Carson`s efforts, chemical manufacturers to this day think twice before attempting to publicly defame decent/honest chemical detractors, indeed, the possibility of being exposed by the dreaded "Silent Spring Syndrome" haunts them in a poetic gesture to the memory and work of Rachel Carson. After Ms Carson's exhaustive studies and field work, where the damage of pesticides and herbicides showed their insidious bad habits of spreading beyond target areas, polluting and disrupting biomes, her clear message to the public was simply stated: "Now at last, as it has become apparent that the heedless and unrestrained use of chemicals is a greater menace to ourselves than to the targets (bugs), the river which is the science of biotic control flows again, fed by new streams of thought." (p 279) Indeed! Carson's legacy is enhanced by a host of dedicated people who keep her work not only referenced, but updated and disseminated through such beautiful books as: Sandra Steingraber's "Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment" and for empathy and understanding of the insect world, there is Joanne E. Lauck's "The Voice of the Infini


Too many reviewers see only one thread of Carson's argument: that DDT and pesticides like it endanger the environment. The other thread is that DDT resistance in mosquitoes develops very quickly, and the more quickly the more it is used. Which leaves us right back where we started. Her argument is not that pesticides should not be used, but that they should be used intelligently. In this age, when antibiotic resistant bacteria are becoming a very serious problem precisely because of antibiotic overuse (and not only in hospitals, but, most egregiously, as growth enhancers for livestock), this argument should be indisputable.

A Beginning

I was disappointed to say the least of some of the following reviews of Silent Spring. It is no wonder that our earth is being so abused. Yes, Virginia, there is an environmental problem. Unfortunately, it is undeniable. The earth IS fragile (God-created or not), chemicals DO persist in the environment, and we "environmentalists" are NOT Marxists.You see, the significance of Rachel Carson's book was not its scientific accuracy, nor the position it took on DDT. Its significance was that it helped to turn national, even global, consiousness in a different direction. Suddenly we were not the only species on the planet. The steps we take to improve ourselves actually have an impact on the rest of the world...on our own environment. Everyday we make compromises. Ban pesticides, eat a hamburger. Both have significant impacts on the health and hunger of those less fortunate. We help one, we hurt another, whether individuals, businesses, species, or nations. There are few easy ways out. With our tendency to ignore long-term consequences, both negative and positive, it is easy to argue forcibly against such activists as Rachel Carson. Short-term results are nearly absent when we seriously consider securing the future of the earth. But shouldn't this security be a universal goal?So read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and be moved as she feels the groanings of the earth and speaks out on their behalf. Thank you, Rachel, for having that courage, for opening that door.

Silent Spring Mentions in Our Blog

Silent Spring in Rejoicing in the Natural World
Rejoicing in the Natural World
Published by William Shelton • April 21, 2023

Since 2003 ThriftBooks has offered its customers a sustainable way of reading through the resale of used books. We take pride in our contribution, and involvement with our global community, in celebrating Earth Day.

Silent Spring in Celebrating Edward Abbey
Celebrating Edward Abbey
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 31, 2020

In celebration of Edward Abbey's birthday earlier this week, we are featuring a reading list of similar authors who came before and after him. More than just environmentalists, these activists raised clarion calls in defense of nature.

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