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Rachel Carson


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The book that sparked the modern environmental movement, with an unprecedented collection of letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the extraordinary courage and vision of its author.

About the Author

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was born on a family farm near Springdale, Pennsylvania. She earned a master's degree in zoology at Johns Hopkins, hoping to pursue her doctorate. Forced to support herself and her mother, she took a job with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, initially writing radio scripts and eventually becoming chief editor of publications for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She published Under the Sea-Wind (1941), The Sea Around Us (1951, winner of a National Book Award), and The Edge of the Sea (1955). Silent Spring (1962), her expose of the disastrous ecological effects of pesticide use, was an international bestseller and prompted revolutionary changes in environmental law and consciousness.

A research biologist and cancer survivor, Sandra Steingraber was inspired to activism by Silent Spring, becoming one of America's leading environmental writers and antipollution advocates. Currently Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York, her books include Living Downstream- An Ecologist's Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment (1997), Having Faith- An Ecologist's Journey to Motherhood (2001), and Raising Elijah- Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis (2011).


"The number of books that have done as much good in the world [as Silent Spring] can be counted on the arms of a starfish." --Jill Lepore, The New Yorker

"Silent Spring, then as now, is a shock. . . . Two hundred pages of letters and talks and short articles fill out the balance of [this Library of America] edition, two hundred bright points of light whose constellation is an image of scientific effort, scientific outreach, science-backed advocacy."
--Daegan Miller, Bookforum

"Silent Spring remains five decades after publication, an impressive piece of work--and a deserving candidate for the Library of America series. . . . To read [it] now is in part to understand how we got to where we are."
-- Charles C. Mann, The Wall Street Journal

"Some say Rachel Carson almost single-handedly launched the modern environmentalist movement with Silent Spring. This Library of America collection brings that groundbreaking work together with her writings to reassert just how influential she was. A vital collection for any environmentalist." --Chicago Review of Books

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