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Silent Spring (1962)

by Rachel Carson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,297861,503 (4.01)204
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. 10
    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 204 mentions

English (81)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
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 |
A good edition of this excellent book, with an introduction by Linda Lear and an afterword by E.O. Wilson. I finally decided it was time to sit and take time to read Carson's work, and used an unexpectedly pleasant spring day to do it, mostly in one sitting. It's brilliant and powerful and there should be more like it. ( )
1 vote JBD1 | May 4, 2021 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
This is one of Penguin's 'Modern Classics' series, and this fact needs some clarification, as this is surely a classic in the sense that it is a foundational text for the public understanding of ecology, and for the then emerging notion of an environmental movement. In the sense of a classic being 'for the ages', having the momentum to hit the escape velocity to transcend merely historical particularism, it is no such book.
Its origins as a series of pieces for the New Yorker magazine are all too apparent; it is an exercise in exposé, bringing to public consciousness the dangers that surrounded reliance on a technocratic approach to pest/weed control. As such it went on to inform important changes in policy, and provoked a tellingly heavy-handed reaction from the industries and interests it threatened. It is, then, a work of historical interest, illustrative of how far our arguments have come in the generally accepted understanding of the nature of ecology, and yet also how little the tropes of industrial and corporate counter-attack have changed. ( )
  agtgibson | Jan 5, 2021 |
I got 30 pages in and didn't want to pick it up again. So I didn't. ( )
  pmichaud | Dec 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (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
Gore, AlIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hitchen, JonathanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Huxley, JulianPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lazar, WilliamNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lear, LindaIntroductionsecondary 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.

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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.

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