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The Sea Around Us [Hardcover]

by Rachel L. Carson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 13, 2003 0195147014 978-0195147018 0
Published in 1951, The Sea Around Us was a phenomenal success. Rachel Carson's rare ability to combine scientific insight with moving, poetic prose catapulted her book to first place on The New York Times bestseller list, where it remained on top for thirty-one consecutive weeks. It stayed on the list for more than a year and a half and ultimately sold well over a million copies, has been translated into 28 languages, inspired an Academy Award-winning documentary, and won both the 1952 National Book Award and the John Burroughs Medal.
This commemorative edition has over 130 beautiful, full color illustrations from all over the world--everything from breaching whales, Christmas Tree worms and phosphorescent shrimp, to fur seals, flashlight fish, and giant squid. The volume features a foreword by Carl Safina, a founder of the Blue Ocean Institute; an introduction by explorer Robert D. Ballard, renowned for his role in finding the Titanic as well as for his discovery of life around deep-sea hydrothermal vents; and an afterword by Brian J. Skinner, an eminent geologist and former president of the Geological Society of America.
The book itself remains as fresh today as when it first appeared. Carson's writing teems with stunning, memorable images--the newly formed Earth cooling beneath an endlessly overcast sky; the centuries of nonstop rain that created the oceans; incredibly powerful tides moving 100 billion tons of water daily in the Bay of Fundy. Quite simply, she captures the mystery and allure of the ocean with a compelling blend of imagination and expertise.
For anyone who loves to wander the shore, sail the ocean, or ponder what lies beneath the waves, this illustrated special edition of The Sea Around Us will make a perfect gift.

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The Sea Around Us + Silent Spring + The Sense of Wonder
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Editorial Reviews


"A majestic edition, incorporating attractive photographs, a preface, foreword, introduction, and an excellent afterword by Brian J. Skinner. The pages are broad and smooth and heavy; turning them, you feel you are in the presence of greatness.... The prose is true and fluid and above all evocative, and delivers all the passion and wonder it did a half-century ago.... This book should be read first and foremost because it has permanent artistic value, because it is literature. And I mean literature in the best sense: popular, beautiful, deeply moving.... Carson's legacy is proof that science books matter, that good prose can change the world."--Anthony Doerr, The Boston Sunday Globe

"Her book remains fresh, in part because of her ability to convey scientific insight in vivid poetic language--but, perhaps more important, because what she has to say is still so relevant today."--Scientific American

"Magnificent--beautifully done, a real work of art. I'm enjoying reading Carson's book for the third time. Carl Safina's brief note summed it best--we read to remember her. What a wonderful writer."--Glenn Vanstrum, author of Saltwater Wilderness

"Perfect reading can be found in wonderfully oversized books.... In this new commemorative edition, readers who have never experienced Carson's sparkling prose or deep insight will have the opportunity to do so, with the added attraction of superlative color photos of everything from breaching whales to phosphorescent shrimp. There's also a new introduction by Robert Ballard, an afterward by Brian J. Skinner."--Dave Wood's Book Report

About the Author

Rachel Carson was named by Time magazine one of the top 100 Scientists and Thinkers of the twentieth century. A biologist, writer, and ecologist, she also wrote Under the Sea Wind and Silent Spring, one of the seminal books of the environmental movement in America. She was a charter member of the Ecology Hall of Fame.
Carl Safina is recipient of the Pew Scholars Award in Conservation and the Environment as well as a John Burroughs Medal. He is also a MacArthur Fellow.
Robert D. Ballard is best known for his discovery of deep-sea wrecks such as the Titanic. The president of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Connecticut, he led the 1977 expedition that first found life around hydrothermal vents in the sea floor, a major scientific discovery. He is Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and the Director of the Institute of Archaeological Oceanography.
Brian J. Skinner is Professor of Geology and Geophysics at Yale University and a past president of the Geological Society of America. He co-edited The Oxford Companion to the Earth.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (November 13, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195147014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195147018
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) spent most of her professional life as a marine biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By the late 1950s, she had written three lyrical, popular books about the sea, including the bestselling The Sea Around Us, and had become the most respected science writer in America. She completed Silent Spring against formidable personal odds, and with it shaped a powerful social movement that has altered the course of history.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Wow!!! It is amazing that this book is over 50 years old. As a high school student, I had to read this book for Ecology. Rachel Carson's book is an eye-opener. It was some 50 years ago. And, it still is. "The Sea Around Us" is truly a classic. Carson gives us all an insight on what would happen if we mistreat the natural environment -- especially the oceans around us. Sadly, today, some of these prophecies are becoming a reality. I agree with a fellow reviewer. This book should be mandatory reading for all students. Maybe if more people read this book, we would all respect nature just a little better.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars still relevant after 50 years August 23, 1998
By A Customer
Rachel Carson, a scientist by trade, writes beautifully about the ocean in this book; it was worthy of the National Book Award, which it won in 1951. Carson takes the time to describe generally what was known about the sea at the time of her writing, and is prophetic in her comments about human impact to the world's oceans. While providing the reader with a general scientific discussion of the sea, she also gives us some magical moments: questions about the lost continent of Atlantis, mysteries about the nature of the deepest ocean bottoms, descriptions of lumninescent creatures surfacing in the remotest areas of open ocean. This book is simultaneously great science and great literature, and is essential reading for anyone interested in marine biology or geology, even decades since its original publication.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for anyone who loves the beach June 27, 2000
It is difficult to believe that this book is over 50 years old. The recommendations are still valid and elusive today. Only when the general public accepts the need to protect the environment will things change. That is why this book should be required reading for all students.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful work by R. Carson August 6, 2005
Rachel Carson's work is still a great place to get insights on the workings of the ocean. Even with the advancement of oceanography and marine biology, the ocean is still a source of wonder and mystery, and still in need of our protection from abuse. Vast as the oceans are, their ecosystems can still be altered by human activity.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mrs. Carson teaches us why we must respect our oceans February 11, 2010
she will give you a very profound perspective of what impacts our oceans and why me must respect them. It is a fairly simple and elegant read, that simplifies where we fit into the earth's ecosystems.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book! January 13, 2014
I actually found this book in the free box at our local library. I'm not one to read scientific type books for the most part. But this one, I couldn't put down.

Beautifully written. Thought provoking and timeless.

This is a book that should still be part of high school reading lists IMO.

I learned so much from this book and I was enchanted by how the material was presented, throughout. Not your typical science book.

I'm so glad I picked this one up. It's one I would read again too.

Highly recommended!
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars on the SPECIAL EDITION of this title. December 19, 2006
This Special Edition features a new chapter [afterward] written by Jeffrey Levinton, a leading expert in marine ecology, who brings the scientific sede of The Sea Around Us completely up to date [1989]. Levington incorporates the most recent thinking on continental drift, coral reefs, the spread of the ocean floor, the deterioration of the oceans, mass extinction of sea life, and many other topics. In addition, acclaimed nature writer Ann Zwinger has contributed a brief forward. [This information copied from the back cover.]
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thanks March 20, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
thanks for sending this book so quickly i received it before i expected it, and it is in great shape considering
the age of the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great and necessary book
Rachel Carson is one of my favorite authors, and I love the way she writes. The Sea Around Us is wonderful, and I enjoyed Levinton's added information. Read more
Published 4 months ago by S D C Bookstore
5.0 out of 5 stars Recall Rachael Carson & The Sea Around Us
Her prose is poetic, and makes one long for a scuba tank.
Good thing she was likely unaware of the increasingly acidic oceans and their desperate plight of today and... Read more
Published 5 months ago by tom kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting.
I originally inherited this book from my dad, a merchant marine. That book looked like it had been read many times. Read more
Published 5 months ago by ohms
5.0 out of 5 stars A Harbinger of Things To Come
I first read this book, which I still have, as a high school sophomore in 1952 which was a gift from my mother, and is one of the reasons leading me to an academic career leading... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Digger
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sea Around Us
This was the second book I read of Rachel Carsons.' Here she spoke about the many changes that have occurred to the sea and what caused them, how so many of our beliefs about the... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Genevieve Lybrook
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
A truly poetic detail of the ocean that leaves you thirsting for more due to the thought provoking details Carson provides.
Published 9 months ago by Neal C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Will completely change the way you look at the sea.
I grew up "on the water" but this book gave me a whole new understanding of and amazement at the ocean. Read more
Published 10 months ago by David A Bross
5.0 out of 5 stars Rachel Carson shows the depth and beauty of the Sea Around Us
The Sea Around Us made me think about the ocean in ways I never had before. Rachel Carson's topics flow from underwater topography to swirling seaweed ecosystems of the Sargasso... Read more
Published 11 months ago by eddie.calendula
5.0 out of 5 stars Got what I wanted
Good seller. No BS. Rachel Carson is great. Some of the information is outdated at this point, but her literary approach to biology has albeit died long ago.
Published 15 months ago by Jay Sobczak
4.0 out of 5 stars News to Me
Wonderful, gently written book about the history of the sea. Enjoyable to read and think about. Recommend for all ages.
Published 15 months ago by J. Aronson
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