Brett Clark is an assistant professor of sociology at North Carolina State University beginning in falland a frequent contributor to Monthly Review. The authors would like to thank Fred Magdoff for his assistance in the writing of this article. Rachel Carson was born just over years ago in
As a result of the widespread use of these pesticides, widespread destruction has been wreaked upon the earth, the atmosphere, the water, and all the inhabitants thereof, including man.
Carson, a trained biologist and a member of the U. Bureau of Fisheries now the Fish and Wildlife Service from towas well equipped to write the story that she knew had to be told.
She had followed with interest court cases in which citizens struggled to protect their environment—for example, the Long Island case in which the plaintiffs sued to prevent the spraying of their lands with DDT to control the gypsy moth. In the decade prior to the publication of Silent Spring, Carson had realized that an undercurrent of distrust regarding federal and state pest-eradication programs was gaining momentum.
Finally, Carson received a letter from a close friend, Olga Huckins, who was outraged that spray airplanes had destroyed a private bird sanctuary on her property in Duxbury, Massachusetts.
At that point, Carson became aware that what she had originally conceptualized as an article was rapidly becoming a book. The following four years to were devoted to a massive research task: Carson perused thousands of scientific papers and articles and corresponded with scientists and medical doctors in both the United States and Europe.
Bythe material had been amassed and awaited only the writing and rewriting that would produce a finished manuscript. That was no easy task, for the subject matter consisted of a welter of scientific details which would have to be made accessible to the layman.
Finally, the complete book was published by Houghton Mifflin Company on September 27, Silent Spring is a scientific work written for the general reader.
Its seventeen chapters fully detail the effects, both immediate and long-range, of pest-eradication programs conducted in post-World War II America.
Chapters 1 and 2 set forth the rationale for the book, concluding with these words of Jean Rostand: Synthetic chemicals with insecticidal properties are products of World War II, an outgrowth of the development of the agents of chemical warfare.
Prior to World War II, pesticides had been developed from inorganic chemicals, principally arsenic. One group, known as the chlorinated hydrocarbons, includes the familiar DDT; the other consists of the organic phosphorus insecticides.
Chapters 4, 5, and 6 examine the way in which these chemicals have contaminated particular areas: Furthermore, in the pollution of his environment, man has subjected himself to the risk of the contamination of public water supplies with poisonous and cancer-producing substances.
Entire populations of certain species of birds and fish have been annihilated in sprayed areas. Two campaigns whose effects are analyzed in detail are sprayings of DDT to eradicate the gypsy moth in the Northeast and the fire ant in the South.The Lies of Rachel Carson by Dr.
J. Gordon Edwards (Full text, without tables and illustrations, from the Summer 21st Century). A well-known entomologist documents some of the misstatements in Carson’s Silent Spring, the book that poisoned public opinion against DDT and other pesticides.
Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, writes her book to inform people of a horrible parathion pesticide used in by farmers in , which kills any animal, insect, or human that comes in contact with the poisoned environment.
The American Chemical Society designated the legacy of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as a National Historic Chemical Landmark at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 26, The text of the plaque commemorating the development reads.
Rachel Carson, a noted biologist, published her novel Silent Spring in , in which she illustrates the need for American attitudes towards the environment needing to change, through understanding “plain folks”, an accusing tone, and descriptive imagery. The Power of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring Essay Words | 6 Pages.
The Power of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring In , Rachel Carson published Silent Spring and was greeted with a roar of protest and approval. “As crude a weapon as the cave man's club, the chemical barrage has been hurled against the fabric of life - a fabric on the one hand delicate and destructible, on the other miraculously tough and resilient, and capable of striking back in unexpected ways.