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Rachel Carson Paperback – Import, March 25, 1999
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Environmental historian Linda Lear does justice to the tragic dimensions of Rachel Carson's life in her prologue, which shows the author of Silent Spring, even as she was dying of cancer, testifying calmly before a congressional subcommittee whose investigation of the dangers of pesticides were prompted by her book. Lear portrays Carson (1907-1964) with affection and discernment as a remarkable woman who overcame prejudice against female scientists and aroused post-World War II America to the beauties of nature and the technological threats against it in a series of deservedly popular books. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
From childhood days, Carson loved nature while showing enormous promise as an author. In college, she began as an English major before switching to biology, and in her federal government job, she used her scientific training to write many publications. In 1951, Carson published her first best seller, The Sea Around Us. Ten years later, while fighting a losing battle with breast cancer, she published Silent Spring, which generated enormous controversy. Environmental historian Lear presents a mostly affectionate and satisfying portrait of Carson. An afterword with information on what happened to Carson's ward, Roger; her close friend Dorothy Freeman; and others would have been appreciated. Lear also fails to explore fully the contradictions in Carson's life, such as her willingness to abide familial manipulations while letting nothing stand in her way when working on a project. Nevertheless, this is an excellent treatment of a founder of modern environmentalism. Recommended.
-?Randy Dykhuis, Michigan Lib. Consortium, Lansing
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Neither story is true.
Linda Lear's biography of Carson is the most detailed accounting of Rachel Caron's complicated life I have ever read. I now want to develop a college course around Carson based on Lear's book. I've now picked up Carson's earlier books on the ocean because of the passions I learned in Lear's biography of Carson. I feel the spirit moving within me to be as committed to the environment as Carson, even though I could only be a fraction as influential. You want to know why?
Read the book...
on the Zika virus from The Economist -- a important publication
calling (Jan 30 2016 page 12) for spraying mosquitoes.
Google for Zika Virus
Perhaps greater than Ebola http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/30/zika-virus-health-fears
But...as Linda Lear documents in extraordinary detail, Rachel Carson was entirely mortal, and all too human, and was not lacking in the faults most of us possess. Success came to Carson late (almost too late), but Carson's love of nature and her dogged determination allowed her to complete what is, perhaps, the most important book of the 20th Century before she succumbed to breast cancer. Lear's detail is incredibly deep; over and again she recounts instances from Carson's life that seem trivial and mundane until the reader feels bogged down in the excess of it. But this detail is critical, because Carson's life itself seemed mundane and trivial, that is until the last decade of it. Carson was a regular person-she was no superstar-and Lear's depth of detail is necessary in order to explain Carson's journey from a less-than-middle-class upbringing to government functionary to the preeminent nature writer of her time. Carson's life evolves slowly and ends tragically; she never married and she never had children-it is almost as if she was born to deliver "Silent Spring" at exactly the right moment in history, when it was needed the most, and then pass on.
In "Witness for Nature", Linda Lear does not allow Rachel Carson to become a cardboard icon of an earlier time; Lear recreates Carson as a complete person with loves and fears and faults. Carson's greatness rises on its own from Lear's writing.
For more information about Rachel Carson, also read Kirk Ward Robinson's "Founding Courage."