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On a Farther Shore by William Souder
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On a Farther Shore

The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

$20.99 USD

Retail price (USD): $22.95

Discount: 9%

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Narrator David Drummond
Length 15 hours 20 minutes
Language English
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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 modern 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 Environmental Protection Agency 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 Carson's death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

William Souder is an author whose books include biographies of John Steinbeck, which was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year; of Rachel Carson, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and John James Audubon, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

David Drummond has narrated over seventy audiobooks for Tantor, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, from fantasy to military, and from thrillers to humor. He has garnered multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as an Audie Award nomination. Visit him at drummondvoice.com.

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Reviews

“William Souder’s On a Farther Shore is one of those rare and extraordinary biographies that are at once brilliant portraiture and important environmental history. The great Rachel Carson comes alive again in these vivid pages—honest, committed, brave.”

“Rachel Carson changed the way we live now, and in William Souder she has a biographer who has given us a powerful portrait of a woman and of her work. Anyone interested in the intellectual, political, and cultural life of the past half-century should read this fine book.” 

“Rachel Carson is the great green heroine, the first person to combine her love of the natural world with a penetrating glance at industrial modernity. William Souder captures her importance in this engaging biography.” 

“A comprehensive biography of marine biologist Carson…David Drummond provides an excellent, seamless narration appropriate to the subject matter.  Highly recommended for Carson’s fans and anyone interested in environmental issues.”

“Published on the fiftieth anniversary of Silent Spring, Pulitzer Prize finalist Souder explores the life and works of Rachel Carson through meticulous research on her writings, relationships, and struggles…The story of Silent Spring and its author is valuable and relevant, and for those who have celebrated Carson’s work, this book is a treat full of big ideas and little details that satisfy and inspire.”

“In this expansive, nuanced biography, Souder portrays Carson as a woman passionate in friendship, poetic and innovative in her books about the sea, gentle but ambitious…Fifty years later, her insights are surprisingly relevant: ‘We’re challenged as mankind has never been challenged before to prove our maturity and our mastery not of nature, but of ourselves.”

“Fifty years after the publication of Rachel Carson’s seminal Silent Spring, Pulitzer Prize nominee Souder examines the legacy and lasting impact of Carson’s passionate environmental work…That her views on DDT were eventually proven correct is just a small part of her legacy as an environmental pioneer, but also a defining instance of citizen activism. A poignant, galvanizing, meaningful tribute.” 

“William Souder eloquently and convincingly argues for the relevance of Rachel Carson’s writings to today’s daunting environmental challenges. In this beautifully crafted biography, Souder shines a light as luminescent as some of Rachel Carson’s favorite specimens of marine life on one of the twentieth century’s most important figures.”

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