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Silent Spring (1962)

by Rachel Carson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,748891,488 (4.01)210
First published in 1962, Silent Spring can singlehandedly be credited with sounding the alarm and raising awareness of humankind's collective impact on its own future through chemical pollution. No other book has so strongly influenced the environmental conscience of Americans and the world at large.… (more)
  1. 20
    Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet by Derrick Jensen (SonoranDreamer)
    SonoranDreamer: Deep Green Resistance is a book about a strategy for those who are frustrated with the ongoing poisoning of our planet even after all this time after Silent Spring was published.
  2. 20
    Our poisoned planet: can we save it? by Joseph Newman (Hedgepeth)
  3. 10
    The Everglades: River of Grass by Marjory Stoneman Douglas (TheLittlePhrase)
  4. 11
    The War on Bugs by Will Allen (lemontwist)
  5. 01
    Sanctuary: The Story of Naturalist Mary Majka by Deborah Carr (ShelfMonkey)
  6. 01
    The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet by Sheila Watt-Cloutier (thebookpile)
    thebookpile: In Silent Spring, Rachel Carson says that to get away from contamination from DDT and other harmful chemicals one would have to move to the far north, which at that time wasn't exposed to them. Ironically, 60 years later, the situation is almost reversed, as described by Sheila Watt-Cloutier in The Right to Be Cold.… (more)
  7. 14
    Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (changsbooks)
  8. 14
    Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear by Dan Gardner (Noisy)
    Noisy: Risk (Chapter 10) gives the counterpoint to Silent Spring, showing up the ignorance of probability and statistics embodied in the demonising of cancer. Rising relative rates of cancer - a disease of an aging population - also indicate a falling rate of diseases such as tuberculosis and enteritis.… (more)
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» See also 210 mentions

English (84)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
Rachel Carson gives a long and detailed description of the many different ways humans, in their fight against insects, have spread poisons irresponsibly. She lets the facts speak for themselves of what was used, what the chemicals are, how it affected humans, and how it remains. A stunning portrayal of how these poisons accumulate throughout the food chain.

This book was incredibly difficult to read (or listen to as an audiobook) as the information paints a bleak picture. It has been on my to-read for years and even though it is decades old I feel it's message still rings true. We need to do better. We can learn from our mistakes. It is our responsibility as stewards of this world. It is our responsibility to ourselves. ( )
  ArcherKel | Aug 17, 2022 |
7/10/22
  laplantelibrary | Jul 10, 2022 |
Often cited and mentioned off-handedly, this is a book that should be read slowly and savoured. Lovely piece of research and writing, and incomparably influential. ( )
  sfj2 | Mar 13, 2022 |
A legendary book from the 1960s that I had never read until now.
Carson tells the story of the (mis)application of toxic chemicals intended as insect pest controls. As she vividly points out in the book, the pesticides failed signally in their objective, and caused untold (until she wrote) collateral damage to wildlife and humans.
The author writes beauftiful text - the sense flows effortlessly off the page. While she was clearly as mad as hell, she restrains herself in the writing, and makes every effort to present facts dispassionately - this was not the twitter era.
I read in the afterword that she was ferociously attacked by vested interests following publication of the book. But, she won - she was right, they were wrong, and she roused such a public reaction that the toxic chemical industry was forced to buckle under some governmental constraints - not a perfect ending, but quite a vindication for a brave author. ( )
  mbmackay | Feb 22, 2022 |
Though it does traffic in some exaggerations and since-disproven data, the themes and conclusions Carson reaches echo through the decades with disturbing salience. We live in a time of ecological pollution and environmental toxicity and reading this book is an excellent reminder that even with incremental progress, we still have a long ways to go. Powerful, forceful writing that inspires. ( )
  Nommie | May 5, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carson, Rachelprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Darling, LoisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Darling, LouisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Facetti, GermanoCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gore, AlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hitchen, JonathanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huxley, JulianPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lazar, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lear, LindaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Markham, JohnCover photographsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthiessen, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shackleton, EdwardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Edward O.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The sedge is wither'd from the lake,
and no bird sings. Keats.
I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of sceptically and dictatorially. E B White.
Dedication
To Albert Schweitzer who said "Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth.'
First words
In a letter written in January 1958, Olga Owens Huckins told me of her own bitter experience of a small world made lifeless, and so brought my attention sharply back to a problem with which I had long been concerned. (Acknowledgments)
There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to be in harmony with its surroundings. (1. A Fable for Tomorrow)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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First published in 1962, Silent Spring can singlehandedly be credited with sounding the alarm and raising awareness of humankind's collective impact on its own future through chemical pollution. No other book has so strongly influenced the environmental conscience of Americans and the world at large.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Rachel Carson’s 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. Carson’s 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.
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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141184949, 0141391529

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

 

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