Rachel Carson – The New Yorker remembers the environmentalist
On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, we encourage you to listen to this great episode of New York Radio Hour, reminiscent of Rachel Carson, one of the earliest environmentalists and authors of the crucial book:
Originally published in 1962
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Silent Spring was first published by Houghton Mifflin in 1962 and raised the awareness of the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, leading to revolutionary changes in the laws that affect our air, land, and water. “Silent Spring has become an out of control bestseller with international reverberation. . . (It is) well made, fearless and concise. . . Even if she hadn't inspired a generation of activists, Carson would prevail as one of the greatest naturalists in American letters ”(Peter Matthiessen, for the 100 most influential people of the century). This fortieth edition celebrates Rachel Carson's turning point with a new introduction by author and activist Terry Tempest Williams and a new epilogue by celebrated Rachel Carson biographer Linda Lear, who tells the story of Carson's courageous defense of her truth in the face of a ruthless attack on the chemical industry the year after the release of Silent Spring and before her untimely death in 1964.
Listen to this episode of New York Radio Hour on Rachel Carson …
Before publishing "Silent Spring", one of the most influential books of the last century, Rachel Carson was a young aspiring poet and then a graduate student in marine biology. Although she couldn't swim and didn't like boats, Carson fell in love with the ocean. Her early books – including "The Sea Around Us", "The Edge of the Sea" and "Under the Sea Wind" – were like no other natural writing of their time, says Jill Lepore: Carson made you feel like you were right there looked into the depths of a tidal pool or lay in a cave lined with sea sponges.