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On A Farther Shore

The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

Souder, William

(eBook - 2012)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
On A Farther Shore
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Rachel Carson, founder of the modern environmental movement, began work on her seminal book 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. 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, and it 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 Environmental Protection Agency and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides.
Publisher: [S.l.] : Crown Publishing Group, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0307462226
9780307462220
Branch Call Number: 3M downloadable ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: 3M Cloud Library

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Apr 27, 2013
  • mmemouse rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Rachel Carson’s fourth and most famous book Silent Spring was published 50 years ago. This evocative biography of the seminal force behind the environmental movement is a true gem. Souder follows Carson from her early days in a multigenerational family through her educational career, her development as a writer and scientist, and her growing love for the sea and awakening to the realization that the earth and all who dwell thereon are in peril. An enormous amount of research evolves into a beautiful and moving tribute to one of the earth’s true champions.

Rachel Carson is one of my favorite scientists. She was quite practical to see the potential dangers, and dangers of pesticides on the fragile ecosystem, and she was very advanced in her ability to see the extent of potential future damage to the environment by a variety of human impositions. Her work is eternal, with many applications today and in the future. Some of the book was excellent, but I did not like the delve into her very personal relationships--she is not alive to protect her privacy, and how accurate or well-rounded it is, is questionnable.

In 1962, marine biologist and conservationist Rachel Carson published what would become her magnum opus, Silent Spring. Already a bestselling author, Carson reached her biggest audience yet through her meticulously researched yet accessible discussion of environmental issues -- especially those caused by synthetic pesticides. This "expansive, nuanced" (Publishers Weekly) biography of Carson examines not only her career and the impact of her work on public policy, but also her carefully guarded private life -- which she struggled to protect in the face of both unexpected celebrity and opposition from the chemical industry. For a fascinating glimpse at the life of a woman scientist whose ideas proved prescient -- and remain largely relevant today -- don't miss this book.

From Nature and Science newsletter December 2012
http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=581853

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