Mary Anne's Reviews > Silent Spring

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
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Apr 08, 08

Read in April, 2008

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.
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