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Environment Management: The Silent Spring - Rachel Carson

Silent Spring

$14.95


Silent Spring is a 1962 environmental science book by Rachel Carson

The academic community—including prominent defenders such as , , , and —by and large backed the book's scientific claims; public opinion soon turned Carson's way as well. The chemical industry campaign backfired, as the controversy greatly increased public awareness of potential pesticide dangers, as well as book sales. Pesticide use became a major public issue, especially after the TV special "The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson" that aired April 3, 1963. The program included segments of Carson reading from and interviews with a number of other experts, mostly critics (including White-Stevens); according to biographer Linda Lear, "in juxtaposition to the wild-eyed, loud-voiced Dr. Robert White-Stevens in white lab coat, Carson appeared anything but the hysterical alarmist that her critics contended." Reactions from the estimated audience of ten to fifteen million were overwhelmingly positive, and the program spurred a congressional review of pesticide dangers and the public release of a pesticide report by the . Within a year or so of publication, the attacks on the book and on Carson had largely lost momentum.

The academic community—including prominent defenders such as , , , and —by and large backed the book's scientific claims; public opinion soon turned Carson's way as well. The chemical industry campaign backfired, as the controversy greatly increased public awareness of potential pesticide dangers, as well as book sales. Pesticide use became a major public issue, especially after the TV special "The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson" that aired April 3, 1963. The program included segments of Carson reading from and interviews with a number of other experts, mostly critics (including White-Stevens); according to biographer Linda Lear, "in juxtaposition to the wild-eyed, loud-voiced Dr. Robert White-Stevens in white lab coat, Carson appeared anything but the hysterical alarmist that her critics contended." Reactions from the estimated audience of ten to fifteen million were overwhelmingly positive, and the program spurred a congressional review of pesticide dangers and the public release of a pesticide report by the . Within a year or so of publication, the attacks on the book and on Carson had largely lost momentum.

The Story of Silent Spring | NRDC

Amer_Alsoudi More than 1 year ago
Silent Spring is a well, detailed analysis and explanation about the effects of many pesticides and chemicals so widely used in the modern wold. This theme was clearly portrayed in the novel, as Carson vividly illustrates a world effected by the dangerous chemicals used today such as DDT. With an immense amount of information to be learned, Carson puts together a environmental masterpiece with the Silent Spring. As a reader I learned the many things effected by these chemicals such as plants, environment, people, and overall our dear Earth. This book is extremely recommended, as it brings forth a whole new side of danger to this environment we,as people, never knew about.

Silent Spring took Carson four years to complete

Headlines in the New York Times in July 1962 captured the national
sentiment: "Silent Spring is now noisy summer." In the few months between
the New Yorker"s serialization of Silent Spring in June and its publication in
book form that September, Rachel Carson"s alarm touched off a national
debate on the use of chemical pesticides, the responsibility of science, and
the limits of technological progress. When Carson died barely eighteen
months later in the spring of 1964, at the age of fifty-six, she had set in
motion a course of events that would result in a ban on the domestic
production of DDT and the creation of a grass-roots movement demanding
protection of the environment through state and federal regulation. Carson"s
writing initiated a transformation in the relationship between humans and the
natural world and stirred an awakening of public environmental
consciousness.
It is hard to remember the cultural climate that greeted Silent
Spring and to understand the fury that was launched against its quietly
determined author. Carson"s thesis that we were subjecting ourselves to slow
poisoning by the misuse of chemical pesticides that polluted the environment
may seem like common currency now, but in 1962 Silent Spring contained
the kernel of social revolution. Carson wrote at a time of new affluence and
intense social conformity. The cold war, with its climate of
suspicion and intolerance, was at its zenith. The chemical industry, one of
the chief beneficiaries of postwar technology, was also one of the chief
authors of the nation"s prosperity. DDT enabled the conquest of insect pests
in agriculture and of ancient insect-borne disease just as surely as the
atomic bomb destroyed America"s military enemies and dramatically altered
the balance of power between humans and nature. The public endowed
chemists, at work in their starched white coats in remote laboratories, with
almost divine wisdom. The results of their labors were gilded with the
presumption of
beneficence. In postwar America, science was god, and science was male.
Carson was an outsider who had never been part of the scientific
establishment, first because she was a woman but also because her chosen
field, biology, was held in low esteem in the nuclear age. Her career path was
nontraditional; she had no academic affiliation, no institutional voice. She
deliberately wrote for the public rather than for a narrow scientific audience.
For anyone else, such independence would have been an enormous
detriment. But by the time Silent Spring was published, Carson"s outsider
status had become a distinct advantage. As the science establishment
would discover, it was impossible to dismiss her.

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