“If any book can do justice to the important legacy of Rachel Carson, it is this one. Powerfully and clearly written, this is an important contribution to both environmental and literary understanding.”
—Derrick Jensen, environmentalist, one of Utne Reader's
"50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World" and author of Endgame
“Rachel Carson had one of those exemplary lives always worth learning more about—her career was varied and important long before it climaxed with Silent Spring
, and this book provides a concise and very useful account!”
—Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet“Over increasingly large areas of the United States, spring now comes unheralded by the return of the birds, and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were filled with the beauty of bird song. This sudden silencing of the song of birds, this obliteration of the color and beauty and interest they lend to our world have come about swiftly, insidiously, and unnoticed by those whose communities are as yet unaffected.”
—from Silent Spring
Few people have had as great an impact on the modern environmental movement as has the great writer and scientist Rachel Carson. This readable and up-to-date biography traces the famous environmentalist's development as a writer from earliest childhood through the publication of her best-known work, Silent Spring
In this absorbing account of her life, Carson emerges as a talented scientist and exceptional writer who shared her sense of wonder about nature with both scientists and the general public. Author Arlene Quaratiello brings to life the “small, solemn-looking woman” whom the New York Times
described as having “the steady forthright gaze of a type that is sometimes common to thoughtful children who prefer to listen rather than to talk.” Quaratiello recounts Carson’s lifelong love of both nature and writing, her years of working in relative obscurity for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and then her late breakthrough as a writer of books about the sea that brought her critical acclaim. The culmination of her life was, of course, the publication of Silent Spring, which not only brought her lasting fame but also harsh criticism from spokespersons for industry and government.
In the wake of the one hundredth anniversary of Carson’s birth in 2007, this fascinating story concludes with an assessment of Rachel Carson’s legacy as a writer and a champion of the environmental movement. The author also addresses the lingering controversies regarding the use of pesticides as well as continuing criticisms of Carson’s ideas.
This balanced portrait of a pioneering environmentalist will be of great interest to anyone with an interest in ecology or nature writing.
Binding: Paperback152 pages (photos)
Shipping Weight: 1lbs
Arlene R. Quaratiello (Durham, NH) is an adjunct instructor of English at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH. She is the author of The College Student’s Research Companion, 4th ed. (2007).