Hot Best Seller

Silent Spring

Availability: Ready to download

Author: Rachel Carson

Published: October 22nd 2002 by Mariner Books (first published September 27th 1962)

Format: Paperback , 378 pages

Isbn: 9780618249060

Language: English


Compare

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverbe Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.

30 review for Silent Spring

  1. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    A must read book for the concerned. Carson brings forth, without ever putting on alarmist garbs, all the horrors of the warfare that we have undertaken against ourselves. The book is of course outdated and most of the bigger concerns have been, if not addressed, at least taken seriously. But the true value of the book is in understanding how long a time frame has to elapse before such matters of truly catastrophic nature follows the process of scientific suspicion, investigation, verification, t A must read book for the concerned. Carson brings forth, without ever putting on alarmist garbs, all the horrors of the warfare that we have undertaken against ourselves. The book is of course outdated and most of the bigger concerns have been, if not addressed, at least taken seriously. But the true value of the book is in understanding how long a time frame has to elapse before such matters of truly catastrophic nature follows the process of scientific suspicion, investigation, verification, then the slow seepage into public consciousness, then the denialism and finally the first baby steps of public policy. Reading the book so many years after its intended audience we have to go beyond the book and apply the concern to the current issues that we face. It is not the facts or the issues that is important, it is the attitude that Carson endorses. With the potent weapons in our hands, can we still afford to be so lax in our reaction to life threatening dangers sneering in our face? Will nature be so forgiving next time around? As crude a weapon as the cave man’s club, the incomplete human knowledge has been hurled against the fabric of life without any consideration of the risks which is beyond our current understanding or technology to calculate.

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    Happy Earth Day, 2020, though it feels more like a dirge than a waltz we are dancing today, as Trump takes the occasion of a global pandemic to relax all environmental poison controls while we are supposedly listening daily to his self-promoting campaign speeches. To allow more mercury to be dumped into, for instance, my Great Lakes, is both homicidal and suicidal, that particular combination of arrogance and ignorance that characterizes "our" approach to the environment today. Read Rachel Carso Happy Earth Day, 2020, though it feels more like a dirge than a waltz we are dancing today, as Trump takes the occasion of a global pandemic to relax all environmental poison controls while we are supposedly listening daily to his self-promoting campaign speeches. To allow more mercury to be dumped into, for instance, my Great Lakes, is both homicidal and suicidal, that particular combination of arrogance and ignorance that characterizes "our" approach to the environment today. Read Rachel Carson to recall that getting back into the bars and back on the beaches and back to business as usual may not be the best central purpose for this year's Earth Day. “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted”--Mitch McConnell, about Elizabeth Warren (and Rachel Carson, decades ago) Poisoning the Planet with Impunity [Part 2, 2017] “Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth”—Albert Schweitzer This lovely, eloquent, poetic book, published in 1962 and nominated for The National Book Award, was read to me by the woman who played the part of Rachel in the movie, Kaiulani Lee, in a gentle voice that belies the storm the book still faces even today. The book was written by a scientist, marine biologist Carson, who had written the perhaps more poetic and less scientific but also popular The Sea Around Us, published seven years before, and its successor, The Edge of the Sea. These books were essentially about the love of nature and “the sense of wonder” we need to appreciate the world around us. But Carson saw horrific, ignorant things happening to the environment in the fifties. She took four years to carefully research and document all across this country the poisoning of the country. Carson and her publisher braced themselves for the response they knew was surely coming. Even before publication they were sued by chemical companies, unsuccessfully, and were on publication almost immediately and relentlessly vilified by what was then Corporate Farming America [yes, the people who are now bringing the planet Frankenfood], something that has continued unabated to this day by an amalgamation of anti-environmental climate change deniers and so on. Hundreds of dollars then were spent by the chemical industry in an attempt to discredit the book and to malign the author—she was described as an ignorant and hysterical woman who wanted to turn the earth over to the insects. “The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man. The concepts and practices of applied entomology for the most part date from that Stone Age of science. It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science has armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth”—Carson Occasionally there are books that change the world. One such book was Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe that almost singlehandedly turned white women firmly against slavery by depicting the cruel sale of slave children taken from their mother. Silent Spring, similarly warns us of the health concerns for (especially) children, even warning of the possibility of future birth defects. Carson, a scientist writing in a popular science mode, carefully lays out the case against DDT and other indiscriminately sprayed chemicals that were destroying ecosystems, endangering lives. She made the link between these poisons and cancer and other man-made diseases. As a direct result of the message in Silent Spring, President Kennedy set up a special panel to study the problem of pesticides. Though it took ten years to do it, DDT (and many other poisons) was banned in 1972. Carson with Silent Spring almost singlehandedly ushered in the environmental movement based on her study of 1950’s pesticide. We would not have had the EPA without Carson, possibly. When I was a kid in the sixties we drove through a putrid fog from Grand Rapids to Chicago. We swam in Lake Michigan in the midst of dead fish. I doubt you could swim in the lake on the Chicago side. Lake Erie was a dumping latrine. But beginning in the mid-sixties we turned around the destruction of the environment, though it in truth that destruction was just slowed down, as you know. The world’s oceans have raised a frightening 2 degrees in just the past fifty years. And so on. “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one ‘less traveled by’—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth.”--Carson To those of you romanticizing deregulation (freedom from the oppressive state, let’s support Big Biz Profits instead of protecting Greedy Poor People and the environment, right on), and the roll back of The Clean Water Act: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/f7047... Because we need more Flints, and see what, years later, is still unfolding as we see the criminals flee to the gutters as we find and expose their self-serving and murderous emails. Save the planet, I say. Prove Schweitzer wrong. Vote for the planet and take to the streets.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie

    This is a classic. It has not lost its validity. It has an important global message still today, 54 years after publication. Everyone should read this at least once. This reads as a horror story, but it is true. -The scientific studies are numerous, clear and to the point. -The demise of habitats and living creatures are lyrically depicted. -The author expertly alternates between poetic expression and scientific accuracy. -Eloquent prose. That’s the essential. Carson shows through carefully identif This is a classic. It has not lost its validity. It has an important global message still today, 54 years after publication. Everyone should read this at least once. This reads as a horror story, but it is true. -The scientific studies are numerous, clear and to the point. -The demise of habitats and living creatures are lyrically depicted. -The author expertly alternates between poetic expression and scientific accuracy. -Eloquent prose. That’s the essential. Carson shows through carefully identified and quantified examples the inherent danger of pesticides, that they not only do not work and that they have serious side effects. She goes one step further and identifies better alternatives - biotic controls. Here is what I wish. I wish another author would follow up her analyses and describe how pesticides and herbicides are used today. Furthermore it would be interesting to know whether her suggestions concerning alternative methods have come to fruition. The audiobook narration by Kaiulani Lee was superb! Perfect speed, perfect intonation and performed with a poetic lilt when the lines so demanded. Beautifully and masterfully performed.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debbie "DJ"

    How could I forget the first book I read about pesticides, and how they are destroying our planet? Rachel Carson is literally my hero. After reading Carson's book, I decided this is what I wanted to do with my life. I spent many years in the field of environmental geology, and I have her to thank. I believe this book is as relevant today as it was when she wrote it in 1962. She has an ease of writing, that not only expresses her deep concerns for the environment, but also feels highly personal. How could I forget the first book I read about pesticides, and how they are destroying our planet? Rachel Carson is literally my hero. After reading Carson's book, I decided this is what I wanted to do with my life. I spent many years in the field of environmental geology, and I have her to thank. I believe this book is as relevant today as it was when she wrote it in 1962. She has an ease of writing, that not only expresses her deep concerns for the environment, but also feels highly personal. Her love of nature shines through on every page. Time has surely been the test of her writing, as I look around today and see what profound affects these chemicals have had on our world, our planet, and our health. It is fascinating to read of one highly intelligent woman's concerns for the future, and how we had the opportunity to act years ago. As fascinating a read now as it was then. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    "We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's poem, they are not equally fair. The road we are travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road - the one 'less travelled by' - offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth". (p.240) I found Rachel Carson's famous Silent Spring a beautifully written book, that in t "We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's poem, they are not equally fair. The road we are travelling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road - the one 'less travelled by' - offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth". (p.240) I found Rachel Carson's famous Silent Spring a beautifully written book, that in the breadth of its interests (ecological collapse, cancer, invasive species, toxic build ups in the environment, natural defences against pests and so on) reminded me of Darwin. A while back I read Elizabeth Kolbert's book The Sixth Extinction, while both cover similar ground - a testament to the lack of impact of Carson's book, Kolbert's prose style suggested that she was a journalist covering a story, and once she was done she would bugger off back to her own planet and leave us to it. Carson I felt, was in contrast, entirely committed and in awe of the complexities of ecology, of the web of life, although at the end I felt she was probably too optimistic in her faith in supporting natural predators, and probably too in the power of changing public opinion. While it is often enough said that the banning of DDT is attributable to Carson's book she herself is clear that already in the 1950s DDT was of of rapidly declining value because of the development of resistant insect populations. Reading, all the stories she was telling about pesticide resistance, invasive species, unintended consequences of chemical use, the discovery of chemicals in the fatty tissues of creatures in remote from where the chemicals had been used were all very familiar to me from repeated news stories, again suggesting to me that Carson's big point was ignored. This is not really a book about specific chemical usage in the years up to the publication of this book (1962) it is more about human attitudes towards nature. It reminded me too of the Vietnam war - not because of the use of herbicides - but because of the technological mindset, that by deploying enough technology you could get what you wanted. The issue of whether the technology was appropriate to the task, or if the situation could be sufficiently well understood by those who controlled the technology, whether those people understood themselves sufficiently and their powerlessness in the face of the world, were all taboo. After reading Herland I wondered too that if this book had been written instead by Rachel's fictional but no less talented brother Billy, maybe it might have been taken more seriously and maybe the USA might even have adopted the precautionary principal.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ken-ichi

    I picked this up because it's a a classic of American nature and environmental writing, and ostensibly marks the beginning of American environmental activism in the modern sense (i.e. more "we deserve not to be poisoned" than "leisure grounds for posterity"). I found the rhetorical style interesting. She breaks the book up into chapters on where toxins come from, how they accumulate and spread, and what effects they have on wildlife, food, and human health. In each, she offloads tale after tale I picked this up because it's a a classic of American nature and environmental writing, and ostensibly marks the beginning of American environmental activism in the modern sense (i.e. more "we deserve not to be poisoned" than "leisure grounds for posterity"). I found the rhetorical style interesting. She breaks the book up into chapters on where toxins come from, how they accumulate and spread, and what effects they have on wildlife, food, and human health. In each, she offloads tale after tale of dead birds, poisoned farm workers, and nearly inhuman acts of government negligence and the corporations that facilitate them. I found this droning repetition of evidence boring, a dull and depressing tirade, but I suppose that kind of argumentative overload has power, if not appeal. I felt some of her language and opinions were surprisingly dated. She often referred to insects using words like "horde" and militaristic symbols of weaponry and defense. Here’s an example from p. 246: "the broader problem [...:] is the fact that our chemical attack is weakening the defenses inherent in the environment itself, defenses designed to keep the various species in check. Each time we breach these defenses a horde of insects pours through." There are a couple odd implications here, like nature being a "designed" clockwork system of checks and balances, and insects as a kind of evil constantly trying to overthrow it. Of course, further down the page she writes, "The balance of nature is not a status quo; it is fluid, ever shifting, in a constant state of adjustment." The two statements seem at odds, and the bulk of the book effuses the latter sentiment, but I found it strange that she would occasionally be so careless with her language. I pick nits, of course, but perhaps it demonstrates that this book lies at a transition between American attitudes toward nature. I was also intrigued by her almost unconditional support of biological control techniques over pesticides (generally, the use of cultivated predators to control a pest population), readily advocating the importation of effective predators with (I think) no examples of the kinds of ecological disaster that can ensue when such tactics are pursued without very careful consideration (cane toads, anyone?). Again, perhaps a sign of the times. All in all, certainly worth my time. I'd like to read some more analysis on the book and on Carson herself (the preface to this editions is great), and I'm very keen to read her natural history writing, esp. on marine life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    5★+! Reposted in honour of her 111th birthday! David Attenborough said that after Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Silent Spring was probably the book that changed the scientific world the most. Why? Because marine biologist Rachel Carson explains in no uncertain terms exactly how mankind was changing the natural world for the worse in unimagined ways through pesticide use. Agriculture wasn’t concerned with wildlife or waterways, just livestock and crops. I remember as a child hearing that D 5★+! Reposted in honour of her 111th birthday! David Attenborough said that after Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Silent Spring was probably the book that changed the scientific world the most. Why? Because marine biologist Rachel Carson explains in no uncertain terms exactly how mankind was changing the natural world for the worse in unimagined ways through pesticide use. Agriculture wasn’t concerned with wildlife or waterways, just livestock and crops. I remember as a child hearing that DDT was so safe you could sprinkle it on your cornflakes. A couple of decades later we were told pretty much the same thing about Roundup, a herbicide, not a pesticide, which has also fallen into serious disrepute recently. I understand it was the editors who recommended that Carson add an opening chapter. She wrote “A Fable for Tomorrow”, and what a chapter it is! “There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings. The town lay in the midst of a checkerboard of prosperous farms, with fields of grain and hillsides of orchards where, in spring, white clouds of bloom drifted above the green fields. . . Even in winter, the roadsides were places of beauty, where countless birds came to feed on the berries and on the seed heads of the dried weeds rising above the snow.” Then, it all changed. Mysteriously, things began sickening: streams, plants, animals, people. The songbirds are gone, the fish are gone. “A grim spectre has crept upon us almost unnoticed, and this imagined tragedy may easily become a stark reality we all shall know.” She does say that this is just a representation of any of a number of towns in the world, and she knows of no single town that’s lost everything. (Well, back in 1962, anyway.) “What has already silenced the voices of spring in countless towns in America? This book is an attempt to explain.” With that simple chapter, we get it. The enormity of what’s at stake. Thus began today’s environmental movement. There have always been conservationists and environmentalists, but this book gave them a voice and opened the eyes of the rest of us. And explain she does, clearly, factually, fascinatingly, and she includes the anecdotal stories we still seem to need to grab our attention. Much of what she describes is now part of the regular school curriculum, and there are lots of mainstream articles about soil health, microbes, worms and the interrelationship between even the smallest parts of nature. Some of her examples have a horrible fascination where they describe the unintended consequences of wiping out one pest intentionally which either kills other things or facilitates the spread of another, worse pest. In Clear Lake, California, they were spraying annoying gnats with DDD, a close relative of DDT but supposedly less harmful to fish. By the third season they sprayed, they were losing birds and discovered the build-up in fatty tissues. How? Why? Well, grebes eat fish, which eat other fish which eat plankton . . . and this stuff keeps building up. "One, a brown bullhead, had the astounding concentration of 2500 parts per million. It was a house-that-jack-built sequence, in which the large carnivores had eaten the smaller carnivores, that had eaten the herbivores, that had eaten the plankton, that had absorbed the poison from the water." The last chapter, “The Other Road” refers to the famous Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken”. Carson explains that our two roads are not equal. The way we’re going is fast and easy but leads to disaster. “The other fork of the road—the one ‘less travelled by’—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth. The choice, after all, is ours to make.” She holds out hope for more biological solutions and says (in 1962) many specialists are working on this in their respective fields: biology, entomology, biochemistry, genetics, too many to enumerate. She quotes professor Carl P. Swanson, a Johns Hopkins biologist: "'Any science may be likened to a river. It has its obscure and unpretentious beginning; its quiet stretches as well as its rapids; its periods of drought as well as of fullness. It gathers momentum with the work of many investigators and as it is fed by other streams of thought; it is deepened and broadened by the concepts and generalizations that are gradually evolved.'" Why haven’t we learned yet? It’s hard to believe that we have celebrated the 50th anniversary of this book without demanding our governments respect independent scientific reports and give corporate lobbyists the short shrift they deserve. What will be left of the world on its 100th anniversary, I wonder? This is an everybody-should-read-this book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This is nonfiction concerning the harmful effects that chemicals, which were created to make life easier for man (pesticides, weed killers, etc.) have on the environment. This was first published in 1962 and the author is credited for opening the door on his topic. However, even now, 55 years later, it is still considered a hot topic. Great strides have been made in this arena, but vigilance must me constant. While reading this, I kept thinking that ignorance is bliss ONLY for those who don't ha This is nonfiction concerning the harmful effects that chemicals, which were created to make life easier for man (pesticides, weed killers, etc.) have on the environment. This was first published in 1962 and the author is credited for opening the door on his topic. However, even now, 55 years later, it is still considered a hot topic. Great strides have been made in this arena, but vigilance must me constant. While reading this, I kept thinking that ignorance is bliss ONLY for those who don't have to pay the price. This book made me rethink my own gardening and lawn habits....what I should or should not use to curb weeds and crabgrass. Definitely food for thought.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    Advocacy is tricky. When you’re trying to motivate people to take action, you need to decide whether to appeal to the head, to the heart, to some combination of the two, or perhaps to some more delicate faculty. Upton Sinclair miscalculated when he wrote The Jungle, aiming for the heart but instead hitting the stomach; and as a result, the book was interpreted as an exposé of the meat industry rather than a plea for the working poor. Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac, eschews appeals to exp Advocacy is tricky. When you’re trying to motivate people to take action, you need to decide whether to appeal to the head, to the heart, to some combination of the two, or perhaps to some more delicate faculty. Upton Sinclair miscalculated when he wrote The Jungle, aiming for the heart but instead hitting the stomach; and as a result, the book was interpreted as an exposé of the meat industry rather than a plea for the working poor. Aldo Leopold, in A Sand County Almanac, eschews appeals to expediency, and instead focuses on the spiritual joys of wild nature; but his book didn’t result in any legislation. Rachel Carson seems to have found the right formula: an urgent and multifaceted appeal to self-interest. Silent Spring is often grouped along with Jane Jacobs’s The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which came out just the year before, in 1961. The comparison is apt, for both books were written by academic outsiders, by women working independently in male-dominated fields, and both books created a sensation. In subject matter, too, the books are surprisingly close. Jacobs describes how top-down city planning, which doesn’t take into account the needs of city-dwellers or the complex economies of cities, only causes ruination. Carson describes how indiscriminate use of pesticides destroys ecosystems and fails even to permanently kill the pests. Both books, in other words, criticize a practice taken for granted, a practice that attempted to mold the world using brute force while remaining ignorant of the systems it attempted to shape. Even today, Carson’s book retains its moral urgency and its morbid fascination. Not only is Carson a knowledgeable scientist, but she is quite a gifted author. She knows how to drive home her point using vivid—and often frightening—examples, detailing case after case of poisonings, in animals and humans. And she supplements her examples with scientific explanations, showing us how poisons spread through the environment, are absorbed into the body, and disrupt natural processes. She knew that the chemical industry was going to fight her tooth and nail, so she did not leave any stones unturned in her research. She systematically goes through the effects of pesticides on soil, water, birds, and plants, offering case after case in support of her thesis. Now that we take it for granted that pesticides shouldn’t be applied with such wholesale zeal, this can actually be a little tedious. When advocacy is effective, it renders itself obsolete. But Carson does not make the mistake of focusing only on the environment. She emphasizes again and again how pesticides can enter foods, can combine in the body, can kill livestock and desolate fish, can enter the skin through commercial lawn products—in other words, she emphasizes that this problem is not abstract and distant, but is one that closely affects the reader. It is this focus that makes the book so effective: she appeals to the stomach, the heart, the head, and also to Aldo Leopold’s spiritual values—but most of all, she appeals to self-interest, the strongest motivator of all.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mario the lone bookwolf

    One person alone can achieve anything if there is a dedicated public behind it. Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested. It is inspiring to see what a human with a vision has achieved on his own. The book has changed the behavior of one of the most influential governments in the world. Although only in the short term and partly, but at least. More than half a century after its publication, politics and the economy are still downplay One person alone can achieve anything if there is a dedicated public behind it. Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested. It is inspiring to see what a human with a vision has achieved on his own. The book has changed the behavior of one of the most influential governments in the world. Although only in the short term and partly, but at least. More than half a century after its publication, politics and the economy are still downplaying poison and death. With borderline arguments and ideas. For example, that without toxic sprays the erosion would wash away the earth. They design lists and concepts that assign economic benefits to natural spaces and the forms of life they contain. It is determined which animals die out and which one get a place in the ark. Too small areas are designated as nature reserves. If not the stress kills the animals, the incest does. There are still many similar stylistic blossoms in the environmental policy and the recommendations of Ministries of Agriculture. A person's initiative is an indictment of those who say they can not do anything. They say that one vote would not be worth anything in an election or an action would be just a frustrating waste of time. Earlier, the argument may have voted on several points. The media were even more monopolized and the reporting heavily censored. Also, people were so conservative that it was easy to get massive personal and professional problems by violating opportunism. The opportunity to network with other like-minded people was sparse. Only in the 21st century, these justifications are obsolete and cheap. Today, social media and the global cooperation of NGOs and civic movements can and will achieve much more. That there is still a long way to go is another matter. It is easy to blame the adolescent and young adults for not engaging. Many never get in closer contact with the subject via their environment and traditional media and therefore can not form a consciousness. The fact that they are deprived of and hidden from opportunities to engage is societies fault. Much more is the raised index finger is to be paned in the direction of the teachers and parents. Comparing the environmentally conscious, engaging parents with the consumptive and indifferent legal guardians, the picture reveals itself. The children imitate this behavior. Even in puberty. The classic problem is that one does not believe what one does not see. Pollution and environmental degradation have been exported to the large, visible parts to developing countries. There, the companies do not even have to bother to conceal or simulate waste separation. You can dump any waste anywhere. When pollution is reported in wealthy industrialized countries, the positive achievements of recent decades are overemphasized. As it has become an important economic factor to prevent environmental damage, this is also true for Western democracies. It is cheaper to take precautions than to repair the massive damage. Corporations often manage to shirk legal claims or bankruptcies of a subsidiary before paying damages. However, as the focus of public attention has become stronger, it is increasingly difficult. On the other hand, if the illegal landfill is in faraway countries, it does not affect people. In combination with lack of coverage the perfect mix to silence. The idea of environmental protection should not be limited to a furry animal or one's own country. The consciousness that everything is a single, interlinked cycle must be awakened. A planet, not separate and independent worlds. Ein Mensch alleine kann doch alles erreichen, wenn eine engagierte Öffentlichkeit dahinter steht. Es ist inspirierend, was ein Mensch mit einer Vision alleine zustande gebracht hat. Durch das Buch wurde das Verhalten einer der mächtigsten Regierungen der Welt nachhaltig geändert. Zwar nur kurzfristig und teilweise, aber immerhin. Über ein halbes Jahrhundert nach der Veröffentlichung entblöden sich Politik und Wirtschaft noch immer, Gift und Tod zu verharmlosen. Mit grenzdebilen Argumentationen und Ideen. Etwa dass ohne Spritzmittel die Erosion die Erde wegwaschen würde. Sie entwerfen Listen und Konzepte, die Naturräumen und darin enthaltenen Lebensformen wirtschaftliche Nutzwerte zuordnen. Es wird bestimmt, welche Tiere aussterben und welche man erhält. Viel zu kleine Areale werden als Naturschutzgebiete ausgewiesen. Wenn nicht der Stress die Tiere tötet, dann der Inzest. In der Umweltschutzpolitik und den Empfehlungen von Landwirtschaftsministerien gibt es noch viele Stilblüten. Die Initiative eines Menschen ist ein Armutszeugnis für alle, die sagen, sie könnten nichts zustande bringen. Ihre Stimme wäre bei einer Wahl nichts wert oder ihre Initiative nur eine frustrierende Zeitverschwendung. Früher mag das Argument in einigen Punkten gestimmt haben. Die Medien waren monopolisiert und die Berichterstattung stark zensiert. Auch waren die Menschen so konservativ, dass man mit Verstößen gegen den Opportunismus leicht massive private und berufliche Probleme bekommen konnte. Die Möglichkeit, sich mit anderen Gleichgesinnten zu vernetzten, waren spärlich. Nur im 21 Jahrhundert sind diese Rechtfertigungen obsolet und billig. Heute kann und wird man mit sozialen Medien und globaler Kooperation von NGOs und Bürgerbewegungen noch viel mehr erreichen. Dass noch ein weiter Weg zu gehen ist, steht auf einem anderen Blatt. Es fällt leicht, den Jugendlichen und jungen Erwachsenen vorzuwerfen, sie würden sich nicht engagieren. Viele kommen über ihr Umfeld und klassische Medien nie näher mit der Thematik in Kontakt und können sich daher kein Bewusstsein bilden. Dass ihnen die Möglichkeiten, sich zu engagieren, von der Gesellschaft vorenthalten und vertuscht werden, ist deren Schuld. Viel mehr ist der erhobene Zeigefinger in Richtung der Lehrer und Eltern zu schwenken. Vergleicht man die umweltbewussten, sich engagierenden Eltern mit den konsumierenden und teilnahmslosen Erziehungsberechtigten, offenbart sich das Bild. Die Kinder imitieren dieses Verhalten. Selbst in der Pubertät. Ein klassisches Problem ist, dass man nicht glaubt, was man nicht sieht. Die Umweltverschmutzung und Umweltzerstörung wurde zu großen, sichtbaren Teilen in die Entwicklungsländer exportiert. Dort müssen sich die Konzerne nicht einmal die Mühe machen, etwas zu kaschieren oder Mülltrennung zu simulieren. Sie können jeglichen Abfall beliebig irgendwohin kippen. Wenn in den reichen Industriestaaten auf die Umweltverschmutzung verwiesen wird, werden die positiven Errungenschaften der letzten Jahrzehnte überbetont. Da es ein wichtiger Wirtschaftsfaktor geworden ist, Umweltschäden lieber zu verhindern, stimmt das für die westlichen Demokratien auch. Es ist billiger, Vorsorge zu treffen, als die massiven Schäden beheben zu müssen. Konzerne schaffen es zwar häufig, sich mittels juristischer Winkelzüge oder auch Insolvenzen eines Tochterunternehmens vor den Schadenersatzzahlungen zu drücken. Aber da der Fokus der öffentlichen Aufmerksamkeit stärker geworden ist, wird es zunehmend immer schwieriger. Sind die Schäden hingegen in weit entfernten Ländern, affektiert es die Menschen nicht. In Kombination mit nicht vorhandener Berichterstattung die perfekte Mischung zum Totschweigen. Der Umweltschutzgedanke darf nicht auf ein pelziges Tier oder das eigene Land beschränkt werden. Es muss das Bewusstsein erwachen, dass alles ein einziger, verzahnter Kreislauf ist. Ein Planet, nicht von sich getrennte und unabhängige Welten.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tatsuhiro Sato

    A book written more than 50 years but still stands true. Written mainly about chemicals, fertilisers and their affects in United States, many of these chemicals mentioned are now banned but also new , powerful and more dangerous chemicals have been introduced in our environment. Surely this book is hard to review as it covers a lot of scientific information on chemicals and their hazardous affects on man, animals, food and on the earth as a whole. So many animals, insects, crops have been mentio A book written more than 50 years but still stands true. Written mainly about chemicals, fertilisers and their affects in United States, many of these chemicals mentioned are now banned but also new , powerful and more dangerous chemicals have been introduced in our environment. Surely this book is hard to review as it covers a lot of scientific information on chemicals and their hazardous affects on man, animals, food and on the earth as a whole. So many animals, insects, crops have been mentioned in this book and how chemicals almost made them vanish or useless. But in all this book tell us how in the race of economic growth and development with the help of science had lead to much more bigger concerns where our future is at stake. Science is nice but mixed with Human greed has lead to many disasters. In developing countries like India these issues are very far from public discussion while everyday these chemicals are killing us in many different ways. Progress is important but the cost at which it is achieved must be reassessed else our future is bleak.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    Indeed and both content and writing style wise, Rachel Carson’s seminal and oh so important for the environmental movement Silent Spring generally reads both flowingly and with graceful, understated (but also emotionally textually dense) eloquence (but yes and sadly, after more than fifty years since the 1964 publication of Silent Sprung, there not only still remains very much to be done with regard to stopping or at least severely limiting overusing pesticides but it also does seem that in rece Indeed and both content and writing style wise, Rachel Carson’s seminal and oh so important for the environmental movement Silent Spring generally reads both flowingly and with graceful, understated (but also emotionally textually dense) eloquence (but yes and sadly, after more than fifty years since the 1964 publication of Silent Sprung, there not only still remains very much to be done with regard to stopping or at least severely limiting overusing pesticides but it also does seem that in recent years, it certainly is beginning to feel as though we are in fact moving not really forwards but actually rather backwards, that we are often drowning out Rachel Carson’s important messages and admonishments and catering to special interest groups like farming and industrial lobbies and indeed not in any manner further reducing but sadly increasing pesticide and herbicide production and usage once again). However, as much as I do wholeheartedly applaud Rachel Carson for having penned Silent Spring and that yes indeed, this book really was a major wake-up call with regard to especially how DDT was thinning and making fragile bird eggs and thus severely and lastingly reducing the ability for birds to successfully procreate and reproduce, as an academic, I do have to (even if contritely and with a bit of guilt) point out that Rachel Carson NOT using any foot or endnotes in her text, in the narrative of Silent Spring and just listing her diverse sources by chapter and as far as I can tell a bit haphazardly at that, this certainly does not make for easy supplemental research. And yes, even figuring out from which of the listed sources Rachel Carson has gleaned her information and where in her text, where in Silent Spring this is all located is in my opinion and very much frustratingly rendered considerably more difficult without foot or endnotes (not to mention that Silent Spring also does not contain an all encompassing and separate bibliography either, just these rather difficult to weed through source lists at the end of each chapter, a to and for me academic shortcoming that while it does not in any manner diminish Silent Spring’s and Rachel Carson’s message, it has definitely frustrated me on an academic and university/college research level).

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Update May2018 A couple of good articles about the book were recently brought to my attention. The WSJ one is here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/silent-s... You need a subscription to read this, but basically it does a good job of putting her book in context. ...Carson’s assault on pesticides and herbicides shocked 1962 Americans, who generally viewed these chemicals as the latest marvels from the awesome scientists whose previous inventions had won World War II. Consumer advertisements extolled th Update May2018 A couple of good articles about the book were recently brought to my attention. The WSJ one is here: https://www.wsj.com/articles/silent-s... You need a subscription to read this, but basically it does a good job of putting her book in context. ...Carson’s assault on pesticides and herbicides shocked 1962 Americans, who generally viewed these chemicals as the latest marvels from the awesome scientists whose previous inventions had won World War II. Consumer advertisements extolled the benefits of installing DDT-impregnated wallpaper for the nursery, spraying babies with insecticide before letting them out in the sun and soaking farmers’ fields in pesticides... ...“Silent Spring” is remembered as an attack on DDT specifically, but Carson actually wrote about many products, presenting evidence that industrial bug- and weed-killers could upset entire ecosystems.... ...One chemical firm threatened to sue...Carson was a “hysterical female,” a “bird and bunny lover,” even a communist.... They also point out some issues, though. ...Carson’s claims about the direct risks pesticides and herbicides pose to human health do not stand up as well. Here again, she describes the science of the era accurately—problem is, the science in this area wasn’t especially good... I found it a good, balanced article & highly recommend it. The Daily Beast did one titled "How Rachel Carson Cost Millions of People Their Lives" about the unintended consequences. It's here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-rac... It's also wrong on several points. It makes no mention of the enormous toll DDT took on birds. https://www.scientificamerican.com/ar... It almost caused the extinction of Bald Eagles. Also, as the WSJ article above points out, ...Carson’s detractors accuse her of misrepresenting the science. Wrong: Carson wrote that pesticides and herbicides disorder ecosystems because they kill broad swathes of their inhabitants, and predicted this would lead to entirely new problems as previously rare survivor species suddenly exploded in number. This has been borne out repeatedly. Carson also said that repeatedly applying pesticides and herbicides would cause their targets to evolve immunity to them. Alas, this, too, has been borne out repeatedly. The latter process is one reason why the DDT ban did not, in fact, lead to many malaria deaths. To begin with, DDT was banned only for agricultural use; its use for preventing disease was not affected. And most countries gave up on DDT not because of any ban but because it no longer worked—mosquitoes evolved to resist it. India kept on spraying after “Silent Spring”: Today the malaria mosquitoes across more than three-quarters of that nation are immune to DDT. ... All in all, I found this article pretty much garbage. It cherry-picked to make a point & completely ignores the times. Nov 2008: I've re-read this after maybe 30 years & it is still scary. It is a classic environmental book, detailing how we're changing our ecology & poisoning it. How long the effects linger is just scary & the links to cancer is horrifying. She occasionally goes over the top, but most often makes good points on how our current practices of bludgeoning nature into our ideal form - which is often mistaken - is not working well & will eventually spell our doom. It was written over 45 years ago &, while a little dated, is still one of the best books I've read on the subject. It's amazing that we are still using some of the chemicals she shows so much evidence against using. Her well documented atrocities that our government has perpetrated against us are chilling. I never trusted the government all that much but trust them even less now.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Enescu

    I have a personal rule when reading books. If I am not completely absorbed into it within fifty pages I put it down. This rule doesn’t work well for assigned reading, and fifty pages into Silent Spring I was so bored I was spending more time thinking of ways to avoid reading the book than actually reading it. Finally it occurred to me the reasons why I felt this boredom. After all, the book is not boring, Carson writes with a feverish passion towards defending nature that simply following her ch I have a personal rule when reading books. If I am not completely absorbed into it within fifty pages I put it down. This rule doesn’t work well for assigned reading, and fifty pages into Silent Spring I was so bored I was spending more time thinking of ways to avoid reading the book than actually reading it. Finally it occurred to me the reasons why I felt this boredom. After all, the book is not boring, Carson writes with a feverish passion towards defending nature that simply following her choice of verbs is intriguing. Anything relative to wildlife and plants are written with a frilly dreamlike flow of words, as if she is trying to conjure up a still image from a Disney animation. The moment man and pesticides are brought into context all flow ends and she writes in stark single word descriptions. It very effectively shows what side she is defending. This is when I realized what I was missing, which was causing my boredom. This is a very old book. Approaching this book to learn the obvious intentions was not a wise path for me. I needed to look at this book as a piece of history, a landmark to understand why we are where we are in our agricultural systems. Silent Spring was a success, and because all the various evidence that she uses in her book are examples I was strongly familiar with, solidly shows what type of impact her argument made. I found the book to be very narrow minded. It was truly a cry, every page being a diatribe of complaints, never offering solid solutions. Yet, she consistently used that approach throughout the book making the reader create a deep sorrow for her, maybe even pity towards what she felt was being lost. If she were to offer two sides, or a bigger picture, she would not have come across so in need and injured. Less people would wanted to help in her quest for change. So, she kept this consistency by forming her arguments with great vagueness and working on the fears already established by people. She vaguely shares that the DDT founder won a Nobel Prize, but never that DDT was awarded that prize for saving lives in the World War I, in the area of medicine. She takes arsenic, a toxic element, and describes how it is found in increased amounts in our soil, leading to increased content in tobacco. She knows the association that people have with arsenic being a poison, but is it not also an essential element to man and plants? And where were the epidemic proportions of deaths associated with this increase? She has no need to answer these questions. Throughout the first third of the book she successfully chooses examples that the reader is already afraid of and lures them in from this to increase her credibility. I don’t condemn it I cheer her for it. This is the type of extremism that when a person is subjected to it they can simply put the book down if they don’t like it. Today, we are all very fortunate that people did not put down the book. Throughout the rest of the book I shook my head, thinking of all her over the top accusations toward increased pesticide use, but no mention of modes of action. The academic standpoint she has as a biologist, yet she has never attempted to empathize with the American farmer. 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. That was the era of baby boomer, no? I thank her for her voice and how it has brought about a stronger focus on responsible agricultural practices. However, I hope that others that read this book recognize it’s age, and use the examples she documents as milestones to measure how far away from that type of system we have come. Her crying and negativity don’t solve problems. She has attacked the practices, and people responded. Today the majority of the insecticides she references are already removed or nearly removed from use today. We no longer need her narrow approach and acknowledging the date of print of her message is vital for people that are moved by it to see it as the birth of a crusade, but not the bible.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Francesca Calarco

    In 1962, a scientist named Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring detailing the hazardous environmental effects of pesticides and herbicides being used in the United States. She wrote with factual accuracy that urgently detailed the horrific implications of prolonged chemical use, and with beautiful prose that framed this work in her undeniable love of nature. And the kicker is that people actually listened to her. Reading this book in 2019, it seems sadly nostalgic to look back at a time when the ge In 1962, a scientist named Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring detailing the hazardous environmental effects of pesticides and herbicides being used in the United States. She wrote with factual accuracy that urgently detailed the horrific implications of prolonged chemical use, and with beautiful prose that framed this work in her undeniable love of nature. And the kicker is that people actually listened to her. Reading this book in 2019, it seems sadly nostalgic to look back at a time when the general public actually gave credence to the work of researchers and scientific fact. Wacky. Rachel Carson undeniably succeeds in reporting objectively unromantic evidence (scary stuff really), with an execution conveying a soft aesthetic style rarely seen with popular science authors. She expresses beautiful sentiments such as, “in nature nothing exists alone,” (51) that will appeal to anyone’s inner hippie. Then in the same paragraph, she will also account how arsenic leached in the soil and water will have detrimental effects the public’s health for generations to come (aka: cancer). All things are connected, which is both beautiful and horrifying when you think about it, and Rachel Carson will really make you think about it. Overall, this book is pretty great, I definitely recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    E. G.

    Acknowledgements Author's Note Introduction, by Lord Shackleton Preface, by Julian Huxley, F.R.S. --Silent Spring Afterword, by Linda Lear List of Principal Sources Index

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deanna

    Five stars for the revolutionary importance of the book, in its day, and the almost poetically literate style.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hákon Gunnarsson

    I came across a reference to this book a while back. It was in a booklet about climate change, and it said there that Rachel Carson was responsible for millions of lives lost to malaria. The writer of the booklet claimed these deaths occurred because Silent Spring killed off the use of DDT to fight mosquitos that spread malaria. This caught my attention because even though I had heard about Carson, and Silent Spring before, I had never heard about this. So I finally got around to reading Silent I came across a reference to this book a while back. It was in a booklet about climate change, and it said there that Rachel Carson was responsible for millions of lives lost to malaria. The writer of the booklet claimed these deaths occurred because Silent Spring killed off the use of DDT to fight mosquitos that spread malaria. This caught my attention because even though I had heard about Carson, and Silent Spring before, I had never heard about this. So I finally got around to reading Silent Spring to try to see why he would make these claims. Silent Spring is in parts truly beautifully written, it has poetic descriptions, and I now really get why Carson was such a popular science writer in her time. She presents the science in a understandable terms, and there is a pretty consistent flow through out the work. The whole thing is backed up with reference to scientific studies of the period. Basically, she was a good science writer that could write for the general public. What she is advocating in this work, is the responsible use of pesticides, unlike the massive over use that was unfortunately the case in some places at that time. She never asked for a total ban of DDT, but a more responsible use of it, and she pointed out different pest control methods that might be used in agriculture. Eventually the use of DDT was banned in agriculture in the US, and other places around the world. But the use of DDT in anti-malaria spraying has never been banned. Let me repeat that, the use of DDT is a legal way to fight against malaria, and has been ever since this book was first published. So even though Rachel Carson talked about the negative sides to DDT, and other such pesticides control in Silent Spring, that didn’t cause those millions of deaths from malaria. It’s a classic work in environmental literature, and I’m glad I finally read it. I think I should even thank the writer that attacked Rachel Carson in his booklet for getting me to finally read it. Some of the science may be dated by now, but you have to remember it was published in 1962, so it’s not going to be up to date with the latest scientific studies. But the main point of this book, that we should not abuse nature, still stands up to scrutiny. Silent Spring may now mostly be of historical importance, but I would still recommend it to people that are interested in environmental writing.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Berg

    I wish this book was not still so poignant. But this book that really started the modern environmental movement and rose the consciences of millions of Americans is still as important today as it was 45 years ago. Whether it’s the use of chemicals still sprayed into are yards and on our food today, or lessons on the importance of questioning how our actions affect our world, Rachel Carson broke the mold. Every person needs to read this book. “What has already silenced the voices of spring in cou I wish this book was not still so poignant. But this book that really started the modern environmental movement and rose the consciences of millions of Americans is still as important today as it was 45 years ago. Whether it’s the use of chemicals still sprayed into are yards and on our food today, or lessons on the importance of questioning how our actions affect our world, Rachel Carson broke the mold. Every person needs to read this book. “What has already silenced the voices of spring in countless towns in America? This book is an attempt to explain.” This book will seep into your consciousness and never leave. Its far to important today with global warming, our fossil fuel addiction, and the chemicals that you ingest every day for you NOT to read this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    What is there to add to the universal praise for Rachel Carson? This book isn't a walk in the park, and it's crammed with (accesible) Scientific data, but it changed the world. I was more fascinated by Carson's rhetoric than in her findings, which are now more than 45 years old. I read this book to learn how she built a case that challenged every major scientific, political and corporate institution in the country. And she did it by connecting with the shared values of average Americans. Bravo, What is there to add to the universal praise for Rachel Carson? This book isn't a walk in the park, and it's crammed with (accesible) Scientific data, but it changed the world. I was more fascinated by Carson's rhetoric than in her findings, which are now more than 45 years old. I read this book to learn how she built a case that challenged every major scientific, political and corporate institution in the country. And she did it by connecting with the shared values of average Americans. Bravo, Rachel!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ioana

    Rachel Carson is a feminist hero. In a world of science beholden to capitalist interests and run by men, she defied all conventions in publishing this non-academic yet copiously researched expose on Big-Ag and the effects of pesticide use. She was decried from all angles, not least of all by the scientific establishment, which derided her "pop science" approach and her "hysterical feminine" tone. But it was too late - Carson had appealed to the public, and the public-and their representatives- l Rachel Carson is a feminist hero. In a world of science beholden to capitalist interests and run by men, she defied all conventions in publishing this non-academic yet copiously researched expose on Big-Ag and the effects of pesticide use. She was decried from all angles, not least of all by the scientific establishment, which derided her "pop science" approach and her "hysterical feminine" tone. But it was too late - Carson had appealed to the public, and the public-and their representatives- listened. Congressional investigations were initiated, entire government agencies and departments were formed to address Carson's points, private groups mobilized to protect the environment, and on and on. They aren't kidding when they say Carson provided the spark for the modern environmental movement. As for the book itself: it is full of now outdated information, and is a bit dry, despite critics who sing Carson's praise as a lyrical writer. It's basically a catalogue of the effects of different kinds of pesticides at various levels (species, community, ecosystem) and on various organisms (from plants to ants to cattle to people). I wouldn't say I enjoyed reading it, but I can't rate this as lower than 5 stars due to its historical significance. Silent Spring's "Fun to Read" rating is probably between a 2 and a 5, depending on how interested you are in the environmental movement and food sourcing.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Don Gagnon

    “Sharing our earth with other creatures” (Rachel Carson) . . . “Silent Spring” (1962) by Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was the culmination of the poet scientist’s campaign against indiscriminate use of synthetic biocides to control disease carrying insects and agricultural pests at the expense of the destruction of the natural world and subjecting human beings to neurological damage, malignancy, and death. Carson asked, “How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a metho “Sharing our earth with other creatures” (Rachel Carson) . . . “Silent Spring” (1962) by Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was the culmination of the poet scientist’s campaign against indiscriminate use of synthetic biocides to control disease carrying insects and agricultural pests at the expense of the destruction of the natural world and subjecting human beings to neurological damage, malignancy, and death. Carson asked, “How could intelligent beings seek to control a few unwanted species by a method that contaminated the entire environment and brought the threat of disease and death even to their own kind?” In the highly influential book, the author eloquently and systematically presented her appeal for clarity, humility, and responsibility in human efforts to control specific pests. Carson encouraged the use of biological measures that exploit the natural weaknesses of harmful species rather than the use of violently poisonous chemicals that eliminate natural checks and balances and expose all plants, animals, and humans to carcinogens and other toxins. 56 years after the original publication of “Silent Spring”, Rachel Carson’s legacy endures in the work of responsible scientists, the commitment of environmental advocates, and the annual celebration of Earth Day. So, . . . Happy Earth Day! Although I didn’t plan to finish reading “Silent Spring” on Earth Day, I can’t imagine a better day to do so.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Hartell

    I thought this would be very outdated, but in fact I didn't think it was. It was historical in a way, and I would like to read an update on the science and a more recent history of our use of pesticides, and the banning (or not) of the ones she mentions. I think we still face many or all of the problems Carson talks about, and global warming as well. When I hear now that a bunch of birds are found dead, like all the redwing blackbirds that died in the south a few years ago, I have no doubt it is I thought this would be very outdated, but in fact I didn't think it was. It was historical in a way, and I would like to read an update on the science and a more recent history of our use of pesticides, and the banning (or not) of the ones she mentions. I think we still face many or all of the problems Carson talks about, and global warming as well. When I hear now that a bunch of birds are found dead, like all the redwing blackbirds that died in the south a few years ago, I have no doubt it is from a chemical, or pesticide release. Perhaps Kolbert's 'The Sixth Extinction' is the follow up book to Silent Spring- but I do still want a specific update to Carson's book, point by point. I think this book would be on my must read list.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aubrey

    The major chemical companies are pouring money into the universities to support research on insecticides. This creates attractive fellowships for graduate students and attractive staff positions. Biological-control studies, on the other hand, are never so endowed — for the simple reason that they do not promise anyone the fortunes that are to be made in the chemical industry. These are left to state and federal agencies, where the salaries paid are far less. Should you take an ethics engineer The major chemical companies are pouring money into the universities to support research on insecticides. This creates attractive fellowships for graduate students and attractive staff positions. Biological-control studies, on the other hand, are never so endowed — for the simple reason that they do not promise anyone the fortunes that are to be made in the chemical industry. These are left to state and federal agencies, where the salaries paid are far less. Should you take an ethics engineering course at UCLA, unless things have changed dramatically in the last six or so years, you will not read excerpts of this book or delve into the thought control machine that is university funding and other forms of capitalistic peer pressure. Instead, you will spend the majority of the time on the professor's old field of mainstream history, sprinkled with intermittent commentary on the military industrial complex birth of video games, Chernobyl, and the Ford Pinto, a car which had the tendency to lock up and catch fire upon exceeding 40 mph. The interesting thing about the last one, however, is how its creating company tried to prove it was more expensive to recall all the vehicles than to let the people burn. Hardly the most encouraging way of of developing a skilled toolkit for combating the banal evils of a discovery offered to the juggernaut idol of money making. If this is what one of the most renowned universities in the US and, perhaps, the world, has to offer, how are we training the young with their bright dreams and even brighter futures today? Are we training them in the field of development for the sake of all humanity, or in the art of human sacrifice? [T]he goal of curing the victims of cancer is more exciting, more tangible, more glamorous and rewarding than prevention[.] [T]he laws of science do not observe the boundaries of politics. I'm aware of the flaws in Carson's thinking nearly sixty years after the fact. However, until someone pens a text as accessible and as concerned with the ethics of discovery and advancement as this one, this work is vital reading, especially in the days of STEM brainwashing and every excuse made for the sake of the money, the money, the money. Carson's evidence and source material bibliography are both vast, so while I don't completely trust her statistics (teaching SAT has made me especially keen on a text's openness about what they are comparing and what is constituting the parts of their wholes), I Do trust the paradigm she advocates for all the specifics of organic pesticides and toxic run off: cost is to be measured in morals, not dollar signs. I come away having learned something of the horrors that the 50s and early 60s had encouraged in the name of progress, but it didn't surprise me that the landscape of those decades' social justice relations were reflected in the murderous toxicity of the top dogs' relationships with nature. The more excuses one makes to dehumanize, the more the mentality of abuse spreads to all corners of one's personal philosophy, and destruction of the earth goes hand in hand with destruction of humanity, with all its logical fallacies (it's the average citizen who destroys more than the blundering corporation, as if 75% of water used in California, for example, wasn't used by companies rather than the state's population) and sanctioned insults ("hysterical", "emotion-fanning words", "priestess of nature"). There is no separation between a nation taking on responsibility for the ground it lives upon and the people whom it serves. One individual cannot maintain a country, but if more were like Rachel Carson and refused to go with a poisonous flow, there would be less attention paid to profit and more crying out against murder in all its forms. Who would want to live in a world which is just not quite fatal? The trouble is that we are seldom aware of the protection afforded by natural enemies until it fails. As a work, I'm grateful that this continues to be read. As a tract of science, I am less enamored with its achievements, as its worth lies not in its commentary on the numbers and figures of yester half century, but in the commentary and critique of the human soul which has evolved so slowly since the time before the written record. Greed for the quick buck and the thrilling massacre still fuels the science students and government grants of today in fields seemingly beyond the domain of environmentalism, and the complacent assumption of "we are better than that now" holds true neither in the corporate realms, nor in the political battlefields. It was terrifying back in Carson's day, and it is terrifying today for many of the same reasons. Whether we wipe ourselves out for the sake of the cold and unfeeling god of money remains to be seen. The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mary Anne

    Silent Spring by Rachel Carson can be considered a pivotal work, and must reading for those who are concerned about the environment. Published in 1962, it has taken the rest of us a couple of generations to catch up to her understanding of ecological systems. A marine biologist by training, and also a writer of three other works, Silent Spring was not received with acclaim. Rather, she was accused of having no scientific basis for her findings. To my non-scientific reading, it seems like evidenc Silent Spring by Rachel Carson can be considered a pivotal work, and must reading for those who are concerned about the environment. Published in 1962, it has taken the rest of us a couple of generations to catch up to her understanding of ecological systems. A marine biologist by training, and also a writer of three other works, Silent Spring was not received with acclaim. Rather, she was accused of having no scientific basis for her findings. To my non-scientific reading, it seems like evidence enough for me. And that's just the point: she addressed this book to the general public, and hit a nerve. I admit that I skimmed some parts, particularly the technical sections. But the author does a great job of describing what happens to an ecosystem when you try to eradicate one bug species with DDT. As we now know, man's drive to tame our planet often backfires. And Carson was one of the first to point that out. Here in Pittsburgh, we are proud to point out that Rachel Carson came from a small town on then highly poluted Allegheny River, called Springdale. We even have a bridge named after her. Ironically, she was battling breast cancer while writing book. She died in 1964 at the age of 57.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pete daPixie

    I had heard of Silent Spring for a long time, and when I stumbled upon it recently I knew right away I had to read this book. Rachel Carson wrote this when JFK was president, and he being the man he was took action straight away. The afterword, by Linda Lear was written in 98. I can't believe that a book dealing with hydrocarbons could be so poetically written and so clearly explained. I can't believe that I've read such a book. The case studies are, of course, from America in the main, and from I had heard of Silent Spring for a long time, and when I stumbled upon it recently I knew right away I had to read this book. Rachel Carson wrote this when JFK was president, and he being the man he was took action straight away. The afterword, by Linda Lear was written in 98. I can't believe that a book dealing with hydrocarbons could be so poetically written and so clearly explained. I can't believe that I've read such a book. The case studies are, of course, from America in the main, and from way back in the 1950's., a time when ecology didn't even exist. However, this is still a green bible today and essential reading for those concerned with the environment of our world, and the actions of corporate insanity.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    After being in the environmental field for 15 years, I decided it was about time to finish reading the book that started it all, at least what we know as the modern environmental movement (I won't get into what I think is happening in the environmental movement right now). If you are of my generation (thirtysomethings), you will probably start to read this and think "Yea, Yea, I know all of this already" because that's what I thought at first. But then it dawned on me that the reason "I know al After being in the environmental field for 15 years, I decided it was about time to finish reading the book that started it all, at least what we know as the modern environmental movement (I won't get into what I think is happening in the environmental movement right now). If you are of my generation (thirtysomethings), you will probably start to read this and think "Yea, Yea, I know all of this already" because that's what I thought at first. But then it dawned on me that the reason "I know all of this already" is because of the impact this book had on the environmental culture of this country in the early 1960's, resulting in a greater awareness of how our actions impact our environment and legislation to regulate those actions. This book deals with some pretty technical stuff (e.g. insecticide chemical disruption of the Kreb's cycle in the cells and the cascading effect to other tissues in an organism, not just in insects) and can be a little dry in some parts, but Carson does a good job of making it relevent to our understanding and appreciation of our environment. This is a great read for those who are interested in environmental history.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    A historically important book and it does contain very important information about pesticides and how their often unregulated and unwarranted use impacts wildlife and humanity. However, each part seems very repetitive, driving the same narrative over and over again, which significantly takes away from the readability. Pick up the foreword and any one single chapter, and you will get pretty much everything there’s to get out of Silent Spring. Impactful as a long essay, but tedious in its entirety A historically important book and it does contain very important information about pesticides and how their often unregulated and unwarranted use impacts wildlife and humanity. However, each part seems very repetitive, driving the same narrative over and over again, which significantly takes away from the readability. Pick up the foreword and any one single chapter, and you will get pretty much everything there’s to get out of Silent Spring. Impactful as a long essay, but tedious in its entirety.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Silent Spring or, How the Reader Decided to Become a Hunter-Gatherer What begins with a surprisingly beautifully written introduction that would rival the best nature writing quickly gives way to an onslaught of data, a barrage of statistics all perfectly designed to regret your participation in the modern world. Of course, this book is outdated. It came out in the sixties and, though I don't actually know anything about anything, I'm pretty sure most of the problems Rachel Carson describes in Sil Silent Spring or, How the Reader Decided to Become a Hunter-Gatherer What begins with a surprisingly beautifully written introduction that would rival the best nature writing quickly gives way to an onslaught of data, a barrage of statistics all perfectly designed to regret your participation in the modern world. Of course, this book is outdated. It came out in the sixties and, though I don't actually know anything about anything, I'm pretty sure most of the problems Rachel Carson describes in Silent Spring have been dealt with. Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), an infamous chemical used as a pesticide during the first half of the twentieth century, was banned in the US and most of the world, due in large part to Carson's book. But what makes this book great is its universalness. Yes, Carson focuses almost solely on the consequences of the use of chemicals in agricultural production, but its thesis can be reapplied to any time or situation; in fact, as technological developments increase exponentially, it becomes all the more important to ask Carson's question: how does this affect the environment, plants, animals, and even humans in both the short and long terms? But I can't leave this review on such an optimistic note. I don't believe that humanity as a whole is capable of asking itself questions like that and conforming to the honest answer. When farmers first began using pesticides, it wouldn't have taken much to ask themselves, "is it really a good idea to spray poison all over my land?" The obvious answer is "no". It doesn't take a genius to figure out that it will come back to bite you in the ass someday. But of course it's much easier to ignore those thoughts and get a pretty field of homogeneously green soybeans, empty of all insect life. Is it really a good idea to take oil out of the ground and burn three billion, five hundred and seventy million gallons of it per day? I mean, why do we pretend that there aren't going to be consequences for that? That after billions of years of existence, we can take a beautiful, green, lush planet and do whatever we want with it and think "ahhh... everything's gonna be just fine". But of course, we want what we want. It's cold out today, so I'm running my furnace. And I'm typing on a laptop and later I will drive my car to the grocery. As the wonderful Louis C.K. puts it, "I wanna go faster... er, um... I'm not fast enough". It's books like these that make me want to become a hunter-gatherer.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brit Cheung

    It's a great book full of information and worth seriously pondering. We are possibly not plagued by pesticides today but the contemporary world continuously abounds with other man-inflicted predicaments. The book transcends its time and contents and assumes new revelations and significance for the modern society. Unfortunately,The slow undoing and apocalypse triggerd by human beings have evolved with the time . We all know we need to be pragmatic and cannot possess too high expectations for our i It's a great book full of information and worth seriously pondering. We are possibly not plagued by pesticides today but the contemporary world continuously abounds with other man-inflicted predicaments. The book transcends its time and contents and assumes new revelations and significance for the modern society. Unfortunately,The slow undoing and apocalypse triggerd by human beings have evolved with the time . We all know we need to be pragmatic and cannot possess too high expectations for our inertia . Virus could evolve into variables more fatal , likewise , so many invisible and imperceptible new camouflaged undoings canstill beset andtraumatize us. In order to read the book and to be familiar with the background knowledge(the background information is not intricate actually), I took some classes and lectures on Biology and pharmacology. And it turns out that I become a bit obsessed with biological science, biochemistry and pharmacy. Ispent asmuch time as I could spare getting emersed in those classes and made foray into the new and dived into these stuff with colossal vitality . If I become more interdisciplinary, the book is that lighthouse. Inadvertent occurence could evolve into an serendipity! The future Self should not be surprised if I were to like other subjects . Embrace the unknown serendipities. 5 stars for leading to a new door. (Rewrite the serious review till a proper moment )

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.