Carson’s Silent Spring

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

Marine biologist Rachel Carson wrote influential books including The Sea Around Us which I read as a teenager. I remember she imparted facts in a poetic style. Carson, who died in 1964, wrote eloquently about man’s impact on nature and sparked social change in America. In Silent Spring she took on the chemical industry and as a result of her well-researched book, DDT was eventually banned.

I was reminded of Carson when I read an article in The New York Times about the new Progressive Book Club which will highlight politically liberal books and, along with current titles, is offering Carson’s decades old Silent Spring. What an amazing achievement as an author to write nonfiction which is relevant more than 40 years after it was published. Carson could have been joining our current discussion on global warming when she said:

“Man’s attitude toward nature is today critically important simply because we have now acquired a fateful power to alter and destroy nature.”

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