Impassioned, poetic and brilliantly written, Silent Spring is now recognized as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century.
In it, Rachel Carson exposed the destruction of wildlife through the widespread and indiscriminate use of pesticides. She described the nests full of eggs that would never hatch, the rivers bloated with poisoned fish and the children killed by the very chemicals which had previously been lauded as miracle potions, and sprayed without reservation across the country.
Despite condemnation in the press and heavy-handed attempts by the chemical industry to ban the book, Rachel Carson's book directly lead to changes in government policy and inspired the modern ecological movement.
This 50th anniversary edition features a new introduction by Caroline Lucas.
Rachel Carson was a biology graduate from Pennsylvania College at a time when there were few women in science. In 1952 she resigned from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to devote herself to writing, and produced her fourth book, Silent Spring, in 1962. So threatened was America's chemical industry by the work that they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to discredit Rachel Carson, only for U.S. President John F. Kennedy's Science Advisory Committee to investigate and subsequently vindicate Carson's work, resulting in an immediate strengthening of the regulation of chemical pesticides. In her lifetime, Rachel Carson was awarded the National Book Award for Non-Fiction, the John Burroughs Medal, the Gold Medal of the New York Zoological Society and the Audubon Society Medal, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She died in 1964, at the age of 56.
"Carson's books brought ecology into popular consciousness"
- Daily Telegraph
"If anybody asked me to write about my hero, it would be Rachel Carson"
- A. S. Byatt
"Rachel Carson educated a planet [...] One of the most effective books ever written"
"Carson's book has changed the world"
- The Times