And No Birds Sing: Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

And No Birds Sing: Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

And No Birds Sing: Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

And No Birds Sing: Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

Synopsis

Craig Waddell presents essays investigating Rachel Carson's influential 1962 book, Silent Spring. In his foreword Paul Brook, Carson's editor ar Houghton Mifflin, describes the process that resulted in Silent Spring. In an after word, Linda Lear, Carson's recent biographer, recalls the end of Carson's life an outlines the attention that Carson's book and Carson herself received form scholars and biographers, tension that focused so minutely on her life that it detracted from a focus on her work. The of reword by Brooks and the afterward by Lear frame this exploration within the context of Carson's life and work.

Contributors are Edward P. J. Corbett, Carol B. Gartner, Cheryll Glotfelty, Randy Harris, M. Jimmie Killingsworth, Ralp H. Lutts, Christine Oravec, Jacqueline S. Palmer, Markus J. Peterson, Tarla Rai Peterson, and Craig Waddell. Together, these essays explore Silent Spring effectiveness in conveying its disturbing message and the rhetorical strategies that helped create its wide influence.

Excerpt

Paul Brooks

To write about Rachel Carson is a pleasure. Sometimes I feel that it is almost a duty: she was such a quiet, modest person that to know her from her writings alone is not easy. Some people have referred to her as shy. I should rather say that she always seemed quiet and reserved, no matter what the circumstances. (And the circumstances following the publication of her last and most influential book, Silent Spring, were hair-raising.) As a writer, she was very professional--a joy to work with. She did, however, have one limitation, which may have hampered her when she was being entertained as a celebrity: she had little enthusiasm for small talk. (I am reminded of a remark once made to me by a guest as we were leaving a luncheon given by Houghton Mifflin Co. in honor of Winston Churchill: "He's a very interesting man, but he hasn't much small talk, has he?")

Surely few, if any, books that have influenced our attitude toward the natural world have been undertaken so reluctantly and so courageously as Silent Spring. When Rachel started to work on the . . .

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