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On a Farther Shore

The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson, Author of Silent Spring

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eBook published by Crown (Crown Publishing Group)

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A New York Times Notable Book of 2012

Rachel Carson loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and other pesticides that until then had been hailed as safe and wondrously effective. It was Carson who sifted through all the evidence, documenting with alarming clarity the collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife; revealing the effects of these new chemicals to be lasting, widespread, and lethal. Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action, despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. It 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. 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 Carson's death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

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A New York Times Notable Book of 2012

Rachel Carson loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and other pesticides that until then had been hailed as safe and wondrously effective. It was Carson who sifted through all the evidence, documenting with alarming clarity the collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife; revealing the effects of these new chemicals to be lasting, widespread, and lethal. Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action, despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. It 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. 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 Carson's death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

Product Details
eBook (544 pages)
Published: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Imprint: Crown
ISBN: 9780307462220
Other books byWilliam Souder
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    The life and times of a complex genius and the masterpiece he created In the century and a half since Audubon's death, his name has become synonymous with wildlife conservation and natural history. But few people know what a complicated figure he was--or the dramatic story behind The Birds of America. Before Audubon, ornithological illustrations depicted scaled-down birds perched in static poses. Wheeling beneath storm-wracked skies or ripping flesh from freshly killed prey, Audubon's life-size birds looked as if they might fly screeching off the page. The wildness in the images matched the untamed spirit in Audubon--a self-taught painter and self-anointed aristocrat who, with his buckskins and long hair, wanted to be seen as both a hardened frontiersman and a cultured man of science. In truth, neither his friends nor his detractors ever knew exactly who Audubon was or where he came from. Tormented by a fog of ambiguities surrounding his birth, he reinvented himself ceaselessly, creating a life as dramatic as his fictionalizations of it. But when he came east at thirty-eight--broke and desperate to find a publisher for his Birds--he ran squarely into a scientific establishment still wedded to convention and suspicious of the brash newcomer and his grandiose claims. It took Audubon fifteen years to prevail in both his project and his vision. How he triumphed and what drove him is the subject of this gripping narrative.

    A Plague of Frogs

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    A Plague of Frogs follows the mystery of deformed frogs discovered all over the world and the urgent search for answers. William Souder, the journalist who first broke the story for the Washington Post, has had exclusive access to all the key scientists, and has personally followed every aspect of the story, from backroom discussions and conferences at the federal government level to the secret hot spots where the highest percentage of deformed frogs are found.

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