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Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature The Life of the Author of Silent Spring by Linda Lear

Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature The Life of the Author of Silent Spring by Linda Lear

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Rachel Carson:  Witness for Nature The Life of the Author of Silent Spring by Linda Lear is a 634-page hardcover published by Henry Holt and Company (New York), stated first edition of 1997.  The dust jacket shows shelf wear but no rips or tears.  Inside, there is bumping to the spine.  Inside, there is an inscription, written in ink, of the names of the prior owners.  There is a small stain to the outside of the front page edges.  Apart from these minor issues commonly associated with a book that has been read and handled, the rest of the book is in very good condition, with clean unmarked pages and tight binding.

Book Summary

Rachel Carson:  Witness for Nature is the long-awaited definitive biography of the courageous ecologist and nature writer whose book Silent Spring began a movement that transformed the way we understand ourselves and the living world.

By drawing on previously unavailable sources and on interviews with those who knew her, Linda Lear gives a compelling portrait of this heroic woman, illuminating the origin of her connection with nature and of her determination to save what she loved.  Lear reveals the unexpected influence of Carson's early experience with industrial pollution and examines her life-changing encounter with the possibility of global extinction in the frightening days of the early Cold War.

The book follows Carson's efforts to become a marine biologist at a time when women were unwelcome in the academic community.  It shows how her connections with nature were confirmed and strengthened through her work as a government scientist and editor, where her views about the potential dangers of synthetic chemical pesticides evolved.  By the late 1950s, Carson had transformed colorless government research into three brilliant, popular books about the sea, including The Sea Around Us, and had become the most respected science writer in America.

Carson was convinced that she must speak out to inform a society made complacent by postwar prosperity.  When her Silent Spring appeared in 1962, it did more than any single publication or event to alert the world to the hazards of environmental poisoning.  Carson's personal courage propelled her to complete her work against formidable odds, confronting a government and industry that were heedlessly putting the future of the living world at risk. 

Rachel Carson challenged the culture of her time and, in the process, shaped a powerful social movement that altered the course of American history.  In her sensitive rendering of Carson's tragically short but affirming life, Linda Lear reminds us how her witness was ultimately able to turn the world in a different direction.

ISBN:  0-8050-3427-7

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