On A Farther Shore: Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

On A Farther Shore: Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson
On A Farther Shore
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Published on the fiftieth anniversary of her seminal book, Silent Spring, here is an indelible new portrait of Rachel Carson, founder of the environmental movement. Written by William Souder, who draws a portrait of cultural and political life in the twentieth century. 

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An indelible portrait of Rachel Carson, founder of the environmental movement. She loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller The Sea Around Us. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world. 

Rachel Carson began work on Silent Spring in the late 1950s, when a dizzying array of synthetic pesticides had come into use. Leading this chemical onslaught was the insecticide DDT, whose inventor had won a Nobel Prize for its discovery. Effective against crop pests as well as insects that transmitted human diseases such as typhus and malaria, DDT had at first appeared safe. But as its use expanded, alarming reports surfaced of collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and its effects, which were lasting, widespread, and lethal.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. The book awakened the world to the heedless contamination of the environment and eventually led to the establishment of the EPA and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides. By drawing frightening parallels between dangerous chemicals and the then-pervasive fallout from nuclear testing, Carson opened a fault line between the gentle ideal of conservation and the more urgent new concept of environmentalism.

Elegantly written and meticulously researched, On a Farther Shore reveals a shy yet passionate woman more at home in the natural world than in the literary one that embraced her. William Souder also writes sensitively of Carson's romantic friendship with Dorothy Freeman, and of her death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

New York Times Notable Book of 2012.

Paperback.

480 pages.

Written by William Souder.

Published by Broadway Books.

Biography; Environmentalists. 

William Souder is the author of three books. "A Plague of Frogs" in 2000 followed the investigation of outbreaks of deformed frogs across North America. "Under a Wild Sky," a 2004 biography of John James Audubon, won numerous awards and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. "On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson," was published by Crown in September 2012 on the 50th anniversary of Carson's "Silent Spring." It was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and was named one of the 25 Best Nonfiction Books of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews.

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