DDT, Silent Spring, and the Rise of Environmentalism: Classic Texts

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University of Washington Press, 2008 - Health & Fitness - 150 pages
No single event played a greater role in the birth of modern environmentalism than the publication of Rachel Carson'sSilent Springand its assault on insecticides. The documents collected by Thomas Dunlap trace shifting attitudes toward DDT and pesticides in general through a variety of sources: excerpts from scientific studies and government reports, advertisements from industry journals, articles from popular magazines, and the famous "Fable for Tomorrow" fromSilent Spring.

Beginning with attitudes toward nature at the turn of the twentieth century, the book moves through the use and early regulation of pesticides; the introduction and early success of DDT; the discovery of its environmental effects; and the uproar overSilent Spring. It ends with recent debates about DDT as a potential solution to malaria in Africa.

"A superb collection. Included here are the texts that galvanized Rachel Carson to writeSilent Springand inspired her to insist on a new vision of cooperation between man and nature. Dunlap's book provides the context for one of the defining debates of our time and shows us why a resolution remains so elusive." - Linda Lear, biographer and author ofRachel Carson: Witness for Nature

"To understand how DDT could win its developer a Nobel Prize and then be banned just decades later, read this book. Read it, too, if you want to understand the modern environmental movement. In these pages, those who helped make history tell you, in their own words, what happened." - Edmund P. Russell, University of Virginia

"This thought-provoking and occasionally surprising collection of readings brings needed attention to Rachel Carson and her work. Dunlap's book will prove valuable for classes in environmental studies and American environmental history and for historians studying conflicts over pesticides." - Nancy Langston, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"A fascinating and thought-provoking collection of texts that will give readers whole new perspectives on this critical controversy in the history of environmental thought." - William Cronon, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Students can use this collection to gain greater understanding of the development of the environmental movement, changing ideas about progress, science, and technology, as well as changing ideas about the role of nature in the modern world." - David Stradling, University of Cincinnati

Thomas R. Dunlapis professor of history at Texas A & M University. He is the author of four books includingFaith in Nature: Environmentalism as Religious QuestandDDT: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy.


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About the author (2008)

Thomas R. Dunlap is professor of history at Texas A & M University. He is the author of four books including Faith in Nature: Environmentalism as Religious Quest and DDT: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy.

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