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Silent Spring is an environmental science book by Rachel Carson. The book was published on September 27, , documenting the adverse environmental. BOOK JACKET: Silent Spring, 50th Anniversary Edition Silent Spring began with a “fable for tomorrow” – a true story using a composite of examples drawn from. Silent Spring book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was first published in three seriali.

Silent Spring Book

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First published by Houghton Mifflin in , Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the This edition celebrates Rachel Carson's watershed book with a new. SILENT SPRING may well be one of the great and lowering books of our time. . when Rachel Carson undertook to write the book that became Silent Spring. First published by Houghton Mifflin in , Silent Spring alerted a large audience to book form that September, Rachel Carson"s alarm touched off a national.

She also wondered about the possible "financial inducements behind certain pesticide programs". Of particular significance was the work of National Cancer Institute researcher and founding director of the environmental cancer section Wilhelm Hueper , who classified many pesticides as carcinogens.

Carson and her research assistant Jeanne Davis, with the help of NIH librarian Dorothy Algire, found evidence to support the pesticide-cancer connection; to Carson the evidence for the toxicity of a wide array of synthetic pesticides was clear-cut, though such conclusions were very controversial beyond the small community of scientists studying pesticide carcinogenesis.

She had investigated hundreds of individual incidents of pesticide exposure and the resulting human sickness and ecological damage. In January , she suffered an illness which kept her bedridden for weeks, delaying the book.

Silent Spring

As she was nearing full recovery in March, she discovered cysts in her left breast, requiring a mastectomy. By December that year, Carson discovered that she had breast cancer, which had metastasized. However, further health troubles delayed the final revisions in and early By August , Carson agreed to the suggestion of her literary agent Marie Rodell: Silent Spring would be a metaphorical title for the entire book—suggesting a bleak future for the whole natural world—rather than a literal chapter title about the absence of birdsong.

The final writing was the first chapter, "A Fable for Tomorrow", which was intended to provide a gentle introduction to a serious topic.

By mid, Brooks and Carson had largely finished the editing and were planning to promote the book by sending the manuscript to select individuals for final suggestions. DDT is a prime example, but other synthetic pesticides—many of which are subject to bioaccumulation —are scrutinized.

Carson accuses the chemical industry of intentionally spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. Most of the book is devoted to pesticides' effects on natural ecosystems, but four chapters detail cases of human pesticide poisoning , cancer, and other illnesses attributed to pesticides. Scientists of the Food and Drug Administration who reported the discovery of these tumors were uncertain how to classify them, but felt there was some "justification for considering them low grade hepatic cell carcinomas.

The book closes with a call for a biotic approach to pest control as an alternative to chemical pesticides. She said in Silent Spring that even if DDT and other insecticides had no environmental side effects, their indiscriminate overuse was counterproductive because it would create insect resistance to pesticides, making them useless in eliminating the target insect populations: No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored.

The Story of Silent Spring

The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse. The world has heard much of the triumphant war against disease through the control of insect vectors of infection, but it has heard little of the other side of the story—the defeats, the short-lived triumphs that now strongly support the alarming view that the insect enemy has been made actually stronger by our efforts.

Even worse, we may have destroyed our very means of fighting. Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible. Carson was undergoing radiation therapy for her cancer and expected to have little energy to defend her work and respond to critics. In preparation for the anticipated attacks, Carson and her agent attempted to amass prominent supporters before the book's release. Douglas , a long-time environmental advocate who had argued against the court's rejection of the Long Island pesticide spraying case and had provided Carson with some of the material included in her chapter on herbicides.

Around that time, Carson learned that Silent Spring had been selected as the Book-of-the-Month for October; she said this would "carry it to farms and hamlets all over that country that don't know what a bookstore looks like—much less The New Yorker.

There was another round of publicity in July and August as chemical companies responded. The story of the birth defect-causing drug thalidomide had broken just before the book's publication, inviting comparisons between Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey , the Food and Drug Administration reviewer who had blocked the drug's sale in the United States. DuPont , a major manufacturer of DDT and 2,4-D , and Velsicol Chemical Company , the only manufacturer of chlordane and heptachlor , were among the first to respond.

DuPont compiled an extensive report on the book's press coverage and estimated impact on public opinion.

Chemical industry representatives and lobbyists lodged a range of non-specific complaints, some anonymously. Chemical companies and associated organizations produced brochures and articles promoting and defending pesticide use. However, Carson's and the publishers' lawyers were confident in the vetting process Silent Spring had undergone. The magazine and book publications proceeded as planned, as did the large Book-of-the-Month printing, which included a pamphlet by William O.

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Douglas endorsing the book. White-Stevens called her "a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature", [43] while former U. Eisenhower reportedly said that because she was unmarried despite being physically attractive, she was "probably a Communist".

Muller , Loren Eiseley , Clarence Cottam and Frank Egler —mostly backed the book's scientific claims and public opinion backed Carson's text. The chemical industry campaign was counterproductive because the controversy increased public awareness of the potential dangers of pesticides.

The program included segments of Carson reading from Silent Spring and interviews with other experts, mostly critics including White-Stevens. According to biographer Linda Lear , "in juxtaposition to the wild-eyed, loud-voiced Dr.

Robert White-Stevens in white lab coat, Carson appeared anything but the hysterical alarmist that her critics contended". Kennedy 's Science Advisory Committee, which issued its report on May 15, , largely backing Carson's scientific claims. When DDT became available for civilian use in , there were only a few people who expressed second thoughts about this new miracle compound.

One was nature writer Edwin Way Teale, who warned, "A spray as indiscriminate as DDT can upset the economy of nature as much as a revolution upsets social economy.

Ninety percent of all insects are good, and if they are killed, things go out of kilter right away. The magazine rejected the idea. Silent Spring Thirteen years later, in , Carson's interest in writing about the dangers of DDT was rekindled when she received a letter from a friend in Massachusetts bemoaning the large bird kills that had occurred on Cape Cod as the result of DDT sprayings.

The use of the pesticide had proliferated greatly since , and Carson again tried, unsuccessfully, to interest a magazine in assigning her the story of its less desirable effects. By , Carson was a best-selling author, and the fact that she could not obtain an assignment to write about DDT is indicative of how heretical and controversial her views on the subject must have seemed.

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Having already amassed a large quantity of research on the subject, however, Carson decided to go ahead and tackle the issue in a book. It meticulously described how DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings, and caused cancer and genetic damage. A single application on a crop, she wrote, killed insects for weeks and months—not only the targeted insects but countless more—and remained toxic in the environment even after it was diluted by rainwater.

Carson concluded that DDT and other pesticides had irrevocably harmed animals and had contaminated the world's food supply. The book's most haunting and famous chapter, "A Fable for Tomorrow," depicted a nameless American town where all life—from fish to birds to apple blossoms to human children—had been "silenced" by the insidious effects of DDT.

Some of the attacks were more personal, questioning Carson's integrity and even her sanity. Vindication Her careful preparation, however, had paid off.

Many eminent scientists rose to her defense, and when President John F. As a result, DDT came under much closer government supervision and was eventually banned.This book deals with some pretty technical stuff e.

The Story of Silent Spring

The way that she never references what was happening historically in our nation at that time that was putting the demand upon farmers for feeding more people. I was inexperienced as a public speaker and felt it would be prudent to overcome the fear I had of it.

Please create a new list with a new name; move some items to a new or existing list; or delete some items. It's books like these that make me want to become a hunter-gatherer. Nov English View all editions and formats Summary: