An Analysis of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring  book cover
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An Analysis of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring





ISBN 9781912127450
Published August 16, 2017 by Macat Library
98 Pages

 
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Book Description

Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring is one of the few books that can claim to be epoch-making. Its closely reasoned attack on the use of pesticides in American agriculture helped thrust environmental consciousness to the fore of modern politics and policy, creating the regulatory landscape we know today.

The book is also a monument to the power of closely reasoned argument – built from well organised and carefully evidenced points that are not merely persuasive, but designed to be irrefutable. Indeed, it had to be: upon its publication, the chemical industry utilised all its resources to attempt to discredit both Silent Spring and Carson herself – to no avail.

The central argument of the book is that the indiscriminate use of pesticides encouraged by post-war advances in agriculture and chemistry was deeply harmful to plants, animals and the whole environment, with devastating effects that went far beyond protecting crops. At the time, the argument directly contradicted government policy and scientific orthodoxy – and many studies that corroborated Carson’s views were deliberately suppressed by hostile business interests. Carson, however, gathered, organised and set out the evidence in Silent Spring in a way that proved her contentions without a doubt.

While environmental battles still rage, few now deny the strength and persuasiveness of her reasoning.

Table of Contents

Ways in to the Text 

Who was Rachel Carson? 

What does Silent Spring Say? 

Why does  Silent Spring Matter? 

Section 1: Influences 

Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context  

Module 2: Academic Context  

Module 3: The Problem 

Module 4: The Author's Contribution  

Section 2: Ideas 

Module 5: Main Ideas 

Module 6: Secondary Ideas  

Module 7: Achievement  

Module 8: Place in the Author's Work 

Section 3: Impact 

Module 9: The First Responses 

Module 10: The Evolving Debate 

Module 11: Impact and Influence Today  

Module 12: Where Next? 

Glossary of Terms 

People Mentioned in the Text  

Works Cited

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Author(s)

Biography

Nikki Springer has studied at MIT, Harvard and Yale. She is currently researching her PhD in environmental management at Yale.