Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature
By drawing on previously unavailable sources and on interviews with those who knew her, Linda Lear gives a compelling portrait of this heroic woman, illuminating the origin of her connection with nature and of her determination to save what she loved. Lear reveals the unexpected influence of Carson's early experience with industrial pollution and examines her life-changing encounter with the possibility of global extinction in the frightening days of the early Cold War. The book follows Carson's efforts to become a marine biologist at a time when women were unwelcome in the academic community. It shows how her connections with nature were confirmed and strengthened through her work as a government scientist and editor, where her views about the potential dangers of synthetic chemical pesticides evolved. By the late 1950s, Carson had transformed colorless government research into three brilliant, popular books about the sea, including The Sea Around Us, and had become the most respected science writer in America. Rachel Carson challenged the culture of her time and, in the process, shaped a powerful social movement that altered the course of American history.