Celebrating Rachel Carson

In 1962, when Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was published, she was a lone voice challenging our growing dependency on chemicals. The establishment immediately dismissed her as a "hysteric," despite her standing as one of America's most respected science writers. But Silent Spring soon became the inspiration for a whole new generation of activists who took up her assertion that it was "the right of the citizen to be secure in his own home against the intrusion of poison applied by other persons."

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Carson's birth, Houghton Miffin has published Courage for the Earth: Writers, Scientists and Activists Celebrate the Life and Writing of Rachel Carson. Edited by Peter Matthiessen, the book honours Carson's courage in writing the book even while battling breast cancer. Contributors talk about how Carson affected their lives, and chapters range from a poignant memoir of a father whose favourite book was Silent Spring to former U.S. president Al Gore's concise analysis of the government's failure to respond to the growing crisis. This is a thoughtful and engaging book that provides an insider's view on being an activist as well as an intimate portrait of a brave pioneer. Contributors include: John Elder, Al Gore, John Hay, Freeman House, Linda Lear, Robert Michael Pyle, Janisse Ray, Sandra Steingraber, Terry Tempest Williams, E. O. Wilson

Courage for the Earth: Writers, Scientists, and Activists Celebrate the Life and Writing of Rachel Carson, edited by: Peter Matthiessen, Houghton Mifflin, ISBN-13/EAN: 9780618872763; $14.95