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On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

Author: William Souder
$33.00(NZD)  inc GST
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Published on the fiftieth anniversary of her seminal book, "Silent Spring," here is an indelible new portrait of Rachel Carson, founder of the environmental movement

She loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller "The Sea Around Us." But it was with her fourth book, "Silent Spring," that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world.

Rachel Carson began work on "Silent Spring "in the late 1950s, when a dizzying array of synthetic pesticides had come into use. Leading this chemical onslaught was the insecticide DDT, whose inventor had won a Nobel Prize for its discovery. Effective against crop pests as well as insects that transmitted human diseases such as typhus and malaria, DDT had at first appeared safe. But as its use expanded, alarming reports surfaced of collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife. "Silent Spring" was a chilling indictment of DDT and its effects, which were lasting, widespread, and lethal.

Published in 1962, "Silent Spring" shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. The book 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 and a host of related pesticides. 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 her death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

A "New York Times" Notable Book of 2012

"A suspenseful tale of the literary life...utterly inspiring." --"San Francisco Chronicle"

"Captivating...Souder writes vividly and with great empathy for his subject and her cause." --"New York Times Book Review"

"A delightful, fascinating, engrossing read about some of the most important insights of modern science. You'll find yourself thinking about Carson whenever you take a walk in the woods."

A "New York Times" Notable Book of 2012
A "Slate "Staff Pick for 2012
One of "Kirkus Reviews"' Top 25 Nonfiction Books of 2012
One of "Booklist"'s Top 10 Science and Health Books of 2012
One of "Booklist"'s Top 10 Biographies of 2013
"Quietly thrilling...Souder treats Carson's personal life sensitively...But the real drama involves how her book shaped a new way of understanding our relationship with the earth."
--"Boston Globe"
"This is the great strength of "On a Farther Shore." Without overstating the point, Souder draws a portrait of cultural and political life in the middle of the 20th century and places Carson squarely at the center of it...In Souder's telling she was a quintessential woman of her time."
--"Washington Post"
"A suspenseful tale of the literary life....That, in 1962, a 55-year-old single mother could take on the government and pesticides industry and triumph in the face of illness, sexism, ageism and a deeply funded campaign against her makes for an utterly inspiring tale that also sounds a cautionary note."
--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"In Souder's telling, almost every aspect of Carson's life and times becomes captivating...Souder is at his best when he places Carson's intellectual development in context with the nascent environmental movement...Souder writes vividly and with great empathy for his subject and her cause...An absorbing narrative."
--Elizabeth Royte, "New York Times Book Review"
"This is the book to read about Carson's short life and work."
--"Wall Street Journal
""On a Farther Shore" does full honor to the woman who wrote "The Sense of Wonder."...In the end, the book Souder has written is, like a poem, the thing itself, so perfectly does it capture a way of being in the world that Rachel Carson, both in her person and her work, radiated." --Vivian Gornick, "The Nation
"Beautifully written...Souder skillfully situates Carson's life and particularly her wr
Author description

WILLIAM SOUDER is the author of two previous books, "A Plague of Frogs" and "Under a Wild Sky, " a biography of John James Audubon that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Grant, Minnesota.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9780307462213
  • : Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
  • : Broadway Books (A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group Inc)
  • : October 2013
  • : United States
  • : October 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : William Souder
  • : Paperback
  • : 508.092
  • : 512
  • : 8 Page Black and White Insert