Rachel Carson: A Biography
This balanced portrait of a pioneering environmentalist will be of great interest to anyone with an interest in ecology or nature writing. 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 (1962). 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. The author 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." The author 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.
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