Rachel Carson

Carson, Rachel Louise

Rachel Louise Carson, 1907–64, American writer and marine biologist, b. Springdale, Pa., M.A. Johns Hopkins, 1932. Her well-known books on sea life—Under the Sea Wind (1941), The Sea around Us (1951), and The Edge of the Sea (1954)—combine keen scientific observation with rich poetic description. Her Silent Spring (1962), a provocative—and in many places flawed—study of the dangers of certain insecticides, is generally acknowledged as the impetus for the modern environmental movement.

See biographies by J. Harlan (1989), L. Lear (1997), M. H. Lytle (2007), and W. Souder (2012).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Rachel Carson: Selected full-text books and articles

And No Birds Sing: Rhetorical Analyses of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
Craig Waddell.
Southern Illinois University Press, 2000
The Book That Changed the World: 50 Years after Silent Spring, Rachel Carson Still Has Something to Teach Us
Isenberg, Robert.
E Magazine, Vol. 23, No. 5, September-October 2012
Dreamers & Defenders: American Conservationists
Douglas H. Strong.
University of Nebraska Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Rachel Carson"
Rachel Carson Revisited
Allen, Brooke.
The Hudson Review, Vol. 66, No. 1, Spring 2013
Science and the Social Good: Nature, Culture, and Community, 1865-1965
John P. Herron.
Oxford University Press, 2010
Dogmas and Dreams: A Reader in Modern Political Ideologies
Nancy S. Love.
Chatham House Publishers, 1998 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "The Obligation to Endure," an excerpt from Silent Spring begins on p. 569
The Environmental Debate: A Documentary History
Peninah Neimark; Peter Rhoades Mott.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Document 99 "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring 1962"
By the Light of the Glow-Worm Lamp: Three Centuries of Reflections on Nature
Alberto Manguel.
Plenum Trade, 1998
The Compassionate Conservative: Assuming Responsibility and Respecting Human Dignity
Joseph J. Jacobs.
ICS Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: discussion of Silent Spring begins on p. 71
America in the Sixties--Right, Left, and Center: A Documentary History
Peter B. Levy.
Praeger, 1998
Librarian’s tip: An excerpt from Carson's 1963 testimony before the Ribicoff Committee begins on p. 53
Biographical Dictionary of American and Canadian Naturalists and Environmentalists
Keir B. Sterling; Richard P. Harmond; George A. Cevasco; Lorne F. Hammond.
Greenwood Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Carson biography begins on p. 137
How Rachel Carson Helped Save the Brown Pelican: One of America's Most Charismatic Coastal Birds Is Thriving Again, Thanks in Part to a Biologist-Turned-Author
Lipske, Michael.
National Wildlife, Vol. 38, No. 1, December-January 1999
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