Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 634 pages
4 Reviews
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.
 

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RACHEL CARSON: Witness for Nature

User Review  - Kirkus

A sweeping, analytic, first-class biography of Rachel Carson from Lear (Environmental History/George Washington Univ.). Carson may have had a forceful mother, may have grown up in iron-and-steel ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GabriellaWest - LibraryThing

The biography was incredibly exhaustive and detailed: Linda Lear's research must have been immense, and is truly a labor of love. I felt a great deal of respect for Carson's thoroughness and hard work ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
Wild Creatures Are Me Friends
7
The Vision Splendid
27
The Decision for Science
54
Something to Write About
81
Just to Live by Writing
110
Return to the Sea
131
Such a Comfort to Me
152
One Must Dream Greatly
289
I Shall Rant a Little Too
312
The Red Queen
339
If I Live to Be 90
363
A Solemn Obligation
396
Rumblings of an Avalanche
428
I Shall Remember the Monarchs
457
Afterword
485

A Subject Very Close to My Heart
178
Kin This Be Me?
198
An Alice in Wonderland Character
223
Nothing Lives to Itself
244
Between the Tide Lines
267
Abbreviations Used in the Notes
486
Bibliography
585
Index
611
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Linda Lear is the editor of Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson. She was consultant to the PBS television documentary "The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson" for The American Experience, and is a founder of the Lear/Carson archive at Connecticut College. Her most recent book is Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature. She lives in Bethesda, MD.

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