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The Sea Around Us, Special Edition [Paperback]

by Rachel Carson, Jeffrey S. Levinton, Ann H. Zwinger
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 12, 1991 0195069978 978-0195069976
Published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most remarkably successful books ever written about the natural world. Rachel Carson's rare ability to combine scientific insight with moving, poetic prose catapulted her book to first place on The New York Times best-seller list, where it enjoyed wide attention for thirty-one consecutive weeks. It remained 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 classic work 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; giant squids battling sperm whales hundreds of fathoms below the surface; and 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.

Reintroducing a classic work to a whole new generation of readers, this Special Edition features a new chapter written by Jeffrey Levinton, a leading expert in marine ecology, that brings the scientific side of The Sea Around Us completely up to date. Levinton 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 foreword.

Today, with the oceans endangered by the dumping of medical waste and ecological disasters such as the Exxon oil spill in Alaska, this illuminating volume provides a timely reminder of both the fragility and the importance of the ocean and the life that abounds within it. Anyone who loves the sea, or who is concerned about our natural environment, will want to read this classic work.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Rachel Carson elucidates the creativity and majesty of the ocean's power. She takes us from the first emergence of life through its turbulten transitions, and awakens us to the life-giving and life-sustaining qualities of the sea and our relationship with water. Once you dive into these pages, there's no turning back. You will become completely engulfed by Rachel's magic voice as she tells the ocean's story."--The WomanSource Catalog and Review

"A classic work reprinted with all the force and drama of the original. A book about the natural world - scientific insight combined with poetic prose....The compelling mystery and fascinating allure of God's mighty ocean. A wonderful book."--The Macon Beacon

"[Carson has] a rare gift for transmuting scientific fact into lucid, lyrical language."--Time

About the Author


The late Rachel Carson was for many years a marine biologist and then editor-in-chief of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. She was also the author of Silent Spring, Under the Sea Wind, and At the Edge of the Sea. Jeffrey Levinton teaches at the State University f New York at Stony Brook and is the author of Marine Ecology. Ann Zwinger is the author of A Desert Country Near the Sea, Beyond the Aspen Grove, and Run, River, Run.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (December 12, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195069978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195069976
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,192 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
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Paperback
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
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Hardcover
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
Format:Paperback
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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