150 pages, no illustrations
No single event played a greater role in the birth of modern environmentalism than the publication of Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and its assault on insecticides. This collection of documents, the first of its kind, traces shifting attitudes toward DDT and pesticides in general through a variety of sources: excerpts from scientific studies and government reports, advertisements from industry journals, articles from popular magazines, and the famous "Fable for Tomorrow" from "Silent Spring".
Beginning with attitudes toward nature at the turn of the twentieth century, the book moves through the use and early regulation of pesticides; the introduction and early success of DDT; the discovery of its environmental effects; and the uproar over "Silent Spring". It ends with recent debates about DDT as a potential solution to malaria in Africa. These texts allow readers to see how scientists, pesticide manufacturers, conservationists, and ordinary citizens approached this issue and how profoundly their attitudes changed from the 1890s to the present.
Thomas Dunlap is professor of history at Texas A & M University. He is the author of four books including "Faith in Nature: Environmentalism as Religious Quest" and "DDT: Scientists, Citizens, and Public Policy".
A superb collection. Included here are the texts that galvanized Rachel Carson to write Silent Spring and inspired her to insist on a new vision of cooperation between man and nature. Dunlap's book provides the context for one of the defining debates of our time and shows us why a resolution remains so elusive. Linda Lear, biographer and author of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature "To understand how DDT could win its developer a Nobel Prize and then be banned just decades later, read this book. Read it, too, if you want to understand the modern environmental movement. In these pages, those who helped make history tell you, in their own words, what happened." Edmund P. Russell, University of Virginia "This is a wonderful collection that will prove quite useful for classes in environmental studies and American environmental history. Rachel Carson deserves far more attention in undergraduate courses, and this collection will facilitate that. Historians studying conflicts over pesticides will also find the selections thought-provoking and occasionally surprising." Nancy Langston, Professor, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison "A fascinating and thought-provoking collection of texts that will give readers whole new perspectives on this critical controversy in the history of environmental thought." William Cronon, University of Wisconsin-Madison "Students can use this collection to gain greater understanding of the development of the environmental movement, changing ideas about progress, science, and technology, as well as changing ideas about the role of nature in the modern world." David Stradling, University of Cincinnati
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