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From Sea to Shining Sea: Key Resources in U.S. Environmental History (March 2015): Carson, Rachel (1907-1964)

by Larry T. Spencer

Carson, Rachel (1907-1964)

Although widely read because of her descriptive books on the American marine environment, Rachel Carson is best known for Silent Spring, which exposed the dangers of the chemicals being used on the environment, particularly with respect to their effects on birds. Two useful biographies discussing Carson’s life and work are Linda Lear’s Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature and Arlene Rodda Quaratiello’s Rachel Carson: A Biography. The time Lear spent at the Smithsonian and Yale libraries plus her conversations with many close to Carson provided the research materials for a detailed yet readable biography of this second-generation American. (Rachel’s grandparents were born in Ireland.) Quaratiello’s biography is primarily geared to high school readers and the general public. A useful contribution is the detailed time line at the start of the volume.

Works Cited