First edition cover art
|Subject||Pesticides, Ecology, Environmentalism|
|Published||1962 (Houghton Mifflin)|
Silent Spring is an environmental science book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin on September 27, 1962. The book documented the detrimental effects of indiscriminate use of pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claims unquestioningly.
Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially environmental problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT for agricultural uses, and it inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Research and writing
Starting in the mid-1940s, Carson had become concerned about the use of synthetic pesticides, many of which had been developed through the military funding of science since World War II. It was the USDA's 1957 fire ant eradication program, however, that prompted Carson to devote her research, and her next book, to pesticides and environmental poisons. The fire ant program involved aerial spraying of DDT and other pesticides (mixed with fuel oil), including the spraying of private land. Landowners in Long Island filed a suit to have the spraying stopped, and many in affected regions followed the case closely. Though the suit was lost, the Supreme Court granted petitioners the right to gain injunctions against potential environmental damage in the future; this laid the basis for later environmental actions.
Carson says the impetus for Silent Spring was a letter written in January 1958 by Carson's friend, Olga Owens Huckins, to The Boston Herald, describing the death of numerous birds around her property resulting from the aerial spraying of DDT to kill mosquitoes, a copy of which Huckins sent to Carson. Carson subsequently noted that this letter prompted her to turn her attention to environmental problems caused by chemical pesticides.
The Washington, D.C. chapter of the Audubon Society also actively opposed chemical spraying programs, and recruited Carson to help make public the government's specific spraying practices and related research. Carson began the four-year project of what would become Silent Spring by gathering examples of environmental damage attributed to DDT. She also attempted to enlist others to join the cause: essayist E. B. White, and a number of journalists and scientists. By 1958, Carson had arranged a book deal, with plans to co-write with Newsweek science journalist Edwin Diamond. However, when The New Yorker commissioned a long and well-paid article on the topic from Carson, she began considering writing more than simply the introduction and conclusion as planned; soon it was a solo project. (Diamond would later write one of the harshest critiques of Silent Spring).
As her research progressed, Carson found a sizable community of scientists who were documenting the physiological and environmental effects of pesticides. She also took advantage of her personal connections with many government scientists, who supplied her with confidential information on the subject. From reading the scientific literature and interviewing scientists, Carson found two scientific camps when it came to pesticides: those who dismissed the possible danger of pesticide spraying barring conclusive proof, and those who were open to the possibility of harm and willing to consider alternative methods such as biological pest control.
By 1959, the USDA's Agricultural Research Service responded to the criticism by Carson and others with a public service film, Fire Ants on Trial; Carson characterized it as "flagrant propaganda" that ignored the dangers that spraying pesticides (especially dieldrin and heptachlor) posed to humans and wildlife. That spring, Carson wrote a letter, published in The Washington Post, that attributed the recent decline in bird populations—in her words, the "silencing of birds"—to pesticide overuse. That was also the year of the "Great Cranberry Scandal": the 1957, 1958, and 1959 crops of U.S. cranberries were found to contain high levels of the herbicide aminotriazole (which caused cancer in laboratory rats) and the sale of all cranberry products was halted. Carson attended the ensuing FDA hearings on revising pesticide regulations; she came away discouraged by the aggressive tactics of the chemical industry representatives, which included expert testimony that was firmly contradicted by the bulk of the scientific literature she had been studying. She also wondered about the possible "financial inducements behind certain pesticide programs".
Research at the Library of Medicine of the National Institutes of Health brought Carson into contact with medical researchers investigating the gamut of cancer-causing chemicals. Of particular significance was the work of National Cancer Institute researcher and founding director of the environmental cancer section Wilhelm Hueper, who classified many pesticides as carcinogens. Carson and her research assistant Jeanne Davis, with the help of NIH librarian Dorothy Algire, found evidence to support the pesticide-cancer connection; to Carson the evidence for the toxicity of a wide array of synthetic pesticides was clear-cut, though such conclusions were very controversial beyond the small community of scientists studying pesticide carcinogenesis.
By 1960, Carson had more than enough research material, and the writing was progressing rapidly. In addition to the thorough literature search, she had investigated hundreds of individual incidents of pesticide exposure and the human sickness and ecological damage that resulted. However, in January, a duodenal ulcer followed by several infections kept her bedridden for weeks, greatly delaying the completion of Silent Spring. As she was nearing full recovery in March (just as she was completing drafts of the two cancer chapters of her book), she discovered cysts in her left breast, one of which necessitated a mastectomy. Though her doctor described the procedure as precautionary and recommended no further treatment, by December Carson discovered that the tumor was in fact malignant and the cancer had metastasized. Her research was also delayed by revision work for a new edition of The Sea Around Us, and by a collaborative photo essay with Erich Hartmann. Most of the research and writing was done by the fall of 1960, except for the discussion of recent research on biological controls and investigations of a handful of new pesticides. However, further health troubles slowed the final revisions in 1961 and early 1962.
Its title was inspired by a poem by John Keats, "La Belle Dame sans Merci", which contained the lines "The sedge is wither'd from the lake, And no birds sing." "Silent Spring" was initially suggested as a title for the chapter on birds. By August 1961, Carson finally agreed to the suggestion of her literary agent Marie Rodell: Silent Spring would be a metaphorical title for the entire book—suggesting a bleak future for the whole natural world—rather than a literal chapter title about the absence of birdsong. With Carson's approval, editor Paul Brooks at Houghton Mifflin arranged for illustrations by Louis and Lois Darling, who also designed the cover. The final writing was the first chapter, "A Fable for Tomorrow", which was intended to provide a gentler introduction to what might otherwise be a forbiddingly serious topic. By mid-1962, Brooks and Carson had largely finished the editing, and were laying the groundwork for promoting the book by sending the manuscript out to select individuals for final suggestions.
In writing Silent Spring, Carson relied on evidence from two New York state organic farmers, Marjorie Spock and Mary Richards, as well as that of biodynamic farming advocate Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, in developing her case against DDT.
As biographer Mark Hamilton Lytle writes, Carson "quite self-consciously decided to write a book calling into question the paradigm of scientific progress that defined postwar American culture." The overriding theme of Silent Spring is the powerful—and often negative—effect humans have on the natural world.
Carson's main argument is that pesticides have detrimental effects on the environment; they are more properly termed "biocides", she argues, because their effects are rarely limited to the target pests. DDT is a prime example, but other synthetic pesticides come under scrutiny as well—many of which are subject to bioaccumulation. Carson also accuses the chemical industry of intentionally spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. Most of the book is devoted to pesticides' effects on natural ecosystems, but four chapters also detail cases of human pesticide poisoning, cancer, and other illnesses attributed to pesticides. About DDT and cancer, the subject of so much subsequent debate, Carson says only a little:
In laboratory tests on animal subjects, DDT has produced suspicious liver tumors. Scientists of the Food and Drug Administration who reported the discovery of these tumors were uncertain how to classify them, but felt there was some "justification for considering them low grade hepatic cell carcinomas." Dr. Hueper [author of Occupational Tumors and Allied Diseases] now gives DDT the definite rating of a "chemical carcinogen."
Carson predicts increased consequences in the future, especially as targeted pests develop resistance to pesticides, while weakened ecosystems fall prey to unanticipated invasive species. The book closes with a call for a biotic approach to pest control as an alternative to chemical pesticides.
In regards to the pesticide DDT, Carson never actually called for an outright ban. Part of the argument she made in Silent Spring was that even if DDT and other insecticides had no environmental side effects, their indiscriminate overuse was counter-productive because it would created insect resistance to the pesticide(s), making the pesticides useless in eliminating the target insect populations:
No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored. The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rapidly making it worse. The world has heard much of the triumphant war against disease through the control of insect vectors of infection, but it has heard little of the other side of the story—the defeats, the short-lived triumphs that now strongly support the alarming view that the insect enemy has been made actually stronger by our efforts. Even worse, we may have destroyed our very means of fighting.
Carson further noted that "Malaria programmes are threatened by resistance among mosquitoes" and emphasized the advice given by the director of Holland's Plant Protection Service: "Practical advice should be 'Spray as little as you possibly can' rather than 'Spray to the limit of your capacity'…Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible."
Promotion and reception
Carson and the others involved with publication of Silent Spring expected fierce criticism. They were particularly concerned about the possibility of being sued for libel. Carson was also undergoing radiation therapy to combat her spreading cancer, and expected to have little energy to devote to defending her work and responding to critics. In preparation for the anticipated attacks, Carson and her agent attempted to amass as many prominent supporters as possible before the book's release.
Most of the book's scientific chapters were reviewed by scientists with relevant expertise, among whom Carson found strong support. Carson attended the White House Conference on Conservation in May 1962; Houghton Mifflin distributed proof copies of Silent Spring to many of the delegates, and promoted the upcoming New Yorker serialization. Among many others, Carson also sent a proof copy to Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas, a long-time environmental advocate who had argued against the court's rejection of the Long Island pesticide spraying case (and who had provided Carson with some of the material included in her chapter on herbicides).
Though Silent Spring had generated a fairly high level of interest based on pre-publication promotion, this became much more intense with the serialization in The New Yorker, which began in the June 16, 1962 issue. This brought the book to the attention of the chemical industry and its lobbyists, as well as a wide swath of the American populace. Around that time Carson also learned that Silent Spring had been selected as the Book-of-the-Month for October; as she put it, this would "carry it to farms and hamlets all over that country that don't know what a bookstore looks like — much less The New Yorker." Other publicity included a positive editorial in The New York Times and excerpts of the serialized version in Audubon Magazine, with another round of publicity in July and August as chemical companies responded. The story of the birth defect-causing drug thalidomide broke just before the book's publication as well, inviting comparisons between Carson and Frances Oldham Kelsey, the Food and Drug Administration reviewer who had blocked the drug's sale in the United States.
In the weeks leading up to the September 27, 1962 publication, there was strong opposition to Silent Spring from the chemical industry. DuPont (a main manufacturer of DDT and 2,4-D) and Velsicol Chemical Company (exclusive manufacturer of chlordane and heptachlor) were among the first to respond. DuPont compiled an extensive report on the book's press coverage and estimated impact on public opinion. Velsicol threatened legal action against Houghton Mifflin as well as The New Yorker and Audubon Magazine unless the planned Silent Spring features were canceled. Chemical industry representatives and lobbyists also lodged a range of non-specific complaints, some anonymously. Chemical companies and associated organizations produced a number of their own brochures and articles promoting and defending pesticide use. However, Carson's and the publishers' lawyers were confident in the vetting process Silent Spring had undergone. The magazine and book publications proceeded as planned, as did the large Book-of-the-Month printing (which included a pamphlet endorsing the book by William O. Douglas).
American Cyanamid biochemist Robert White-Stevens and former Cyanamid chemist Thomas Jukes were among the most aggressive critics, especially of Carson's analysis of DDT. According to White-Stevens, "If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth." Others went further, attacking Carson's scientific credentials (because her training was in marine biology rather than biochemistry) and her personal character. White-Stevens labeled her "a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature", while former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson—in a letter to former President Dwight D. Eisenhower—reportedly concluded that because she was unmarried despite being physically attractive, she was "probably a Communist."
Many critics repeatedly asserted that she was calling for the elimination of all pesticides. Yet Carson had made it clear she was not advocating the banning or complete withdrawal of helpful pesticides, but was instead encouraging responsible and carefully managed use with an awareness of the chemicals' impact on the entire ecosystem. In fact, she concludes her section on DDT in Silent Spring not by urging a total ban, but with advice for spraying as little as possible to limit the development of resistance.
The academic community—including prominent defenders such as H. J. Muller, Loren Eisley, Clarence Cottam, and Frank Egler—by and large backed the book's scientific claims; public opinion soon turned Carson's way as well. The chemical industry campaign backfired, as the controversy greatly increased public awareness of potential pesticide dangers, as well as Silent Spring book sales. Pesticide use became a major public issue, especially after the CBS Reports TV special "The Silent Spring of Rachel Carson" that aired April 3, 1963. The program included segments of Carson reading from Silent Spring and interviews with a number of other experts, mostly critics (including White-Stevens); according to biographer Linda Lear, "in juxtaposition to the wild-eyed, loud-voiced Dr. Robert White-Stevens in white lab coat, Carson appeared anything but the hysterical alarmist that her critics contended." Reactions from the estimated audience of ten to fifteen million were overwhelmingly positive, and the program spurred a congressional review of pesticide dangers and the public release of a pesticide report by the President's Science Advisory Committee. Within a year or so of publication, the attacks on the book and on Carson had largely lost momentum.
In one of her last public appearances, Carson testified before President John F. Kennedy's Science Advisory Committee. The committee issued its report on May 15, 1963, largely backing Carson's scientific claims. Following the report's release, she also testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee to make policy recommendations. Though Carson received hundreds of other speaking invitations, she was unable to accept the great majority of them. Her health was steadily declining as her cancer outpaced the radiation therapy, with only brief periods of remission. She spoke as much as she was physically able, however, including a notable appearance on The Today Show and speeches at several dinners held in her honor. In late 1963, she received a flurry of awards and honors: the Audubon Medal (from the National Audubon Society), the Cullum Medal (from the American Geographical Society), and induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Grassroots environmentalism and the EPA
Carson's work had a powerful impact on the environmental movement. Silent Spring, in particular, was a rallying point for the fledgling social movement in the 1960s. According to environmental engineer and Carson scholar H. Patricia Hynes, "Silent Spring altered the balance of power in the world. No one since would be able to sell pollution as the necessary underside of progress so easily or uncritically." Carson's work, and the activism it inspired, are at least partly responsible for the deep ecology movement, and the overall strength of the grassroots environmental movement since the 1960s. It was also influential on the rise of ecofeminism and on many feminist scientists.
Carson's most direct legacy in the environmental movement was the campaign to ban the use of DDT in the United States (and related efforts to ban or limit its use throughout the world). Though environmental concerns about DDT had been considered by government agencies as early as Carson's testimony before the President's Science Advisory Committee, the 1967 formation of the Environmental Defense Fund was the first major milestone in the campaign against DDT. The organization brought lawsuits against the government to "establish a citizen's right to a clean environment", and the arguments employed against DDT largely mirrored Carson's. By 1972, the Environmental Defense Fund and other activist groups had succeeded in securing a phase-out of DDT use in the United States (except in emergency cases).
The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency by the Nixon Administration in 1970 addressed another concern that Carson had brought to light. Until then, the same agency (the USDA) was responsible both for regulating pesticides and promoting the concerns of the agriculture industry; Carson saw this as a conflict of interest, since the agency was not responsible for effects on wildlife or other environmental concerns beyond farm policy. Fifteen years after its creation, one journalist described the EPA as "the extended shadow of Silent Spring". Much of the agency's early work, such as enforcement of the 1972 Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, was directly related to Carson's work.
History professor Gary Kroll commented, "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring played a large role in articulating ecology as a 'subversive subject' — as a perspective that cuts against the grain of materialism, scientism, and the technologically engineered control of nature."
Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and well-known environmentalist, wrote an introduction to the 1992 edition of Silent spring. He wrote: "Silent Spring had a profound impact ... Indeed, Rachel Carson was one of the reasons that I became so conscious of the environment and so involved with environmental issues ... [she] has had as much or more effect on me than any, and perhaps than all of them together."
Criticisms of environmentalism and DDT restrictions
Carson and the environmental movement were — and continue to be — criticized by some conservatives and libertarians as well as chemical-industry trade groups, who argue that restrictions placed on pesticides, specifically DDT, have caused tens of millions of needless deaths and hampered agriculture (and, implicitly, that Carson bears responsibility for inciting such restrictions).
Carson's vocal expressions of concern about the human health effects and environmental impact of DDT has come under the most intense fire. Political scientist Charles Rubin was one of the most vociferous critics in the 1980s and 1990s, though he accused her merely of selective use of source and fanaticism (rather than the more severe criticism Carson received upon Silent Spring's release).
In the 2000s, however, criticism of the real and alleged ban(s) of DDT her work prompted became much more intense. In 2009, the libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute set up a website asserting "Millions of people around the world suffer the painful and often deadly effects of malaria because one person sounded a false alarm. That person is Rachel Carson." A 2012 review article in Nature by Rob Dunn commemorating the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring prompted a response in a letter written by Anthony Trewavas and co-signed by 10 others, including Christopher Leaver, Bruce Ames, Richard Tren and Peter Lachmann, who quote estimates of 60 to 80 million deaths "as a result of misguided fears based on poorly understood evidence".
Biographer Hamilton Lytle believes these estimates unrealistic, even assuming that Carson can be "blamed" for worldwide DDT policies. John Quiggin and Tim Lambert have written that "the most striking feature of the claim against Carson is the ease with which it can be refuted." DDT was never banned for anti-malarial use, (its ban for agricultural use in the United States in 1972 did not apply outside the US or to anti-malaria spraying; the international treaty that banned most uses of DDT and other organochlorine pesticides — the 2001 Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants — included an exemption for DDT for the use of malaria control until affordable substitutes could be found.) Mass outdoor spraying of DDT was abandoned in poor countries subject to malaria, such as Sri Lanka, in the 1970s and 1980s, not because of government prohibitions, but because the DDT had lost its ability to kill the mosquitoes. (Because of insects' very short breeding cycle and large number of offspring, the most resistant insects that survive and pass on their genetic traits to their offspring replace the pesticide-slain insects relatively rapidly. Agricultural spraying of pesticides produces resistance to the pesticide in seven to ten years.)
Some experts have argued that restrictions placed on the agricultural use of DDT have increased its effectiveness as a tool for battling malaria. According to pro-DDT advocate Amir Attaran the result of the 2004 Stockholm Convention banning DDT's use in agriculture "is arguably better than the status quo ... For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before." But though Carson's legacy has been closely tied to DDT, Roger Bate of the DDT advocacy organization Africa Fighting Malaria warns that "A lot of people have used Carson to push their own agendas. We just have to be a little careful when you're talking about someone who died in 1964."
Silent Spring has been featured in many lists of the best nonfiction books of the twentieth century. In the Modern Library List of Best 20th-Century Nonfiction it was at number 5. It was at number 78 in the National Review's 100 best non-fiction books of the 20th century. In 2006, Silent Spring was named one of the 25 greatest science books of all time by the editors of Discover Magazine.
- Carson, Rachel (1962). Silent Spring. Houghton Mifflin.
- Hynes, H. Patricia (1989). The Recurring Silent Spring. Athene series. New York: Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-037117-5.
- Lytle, Mark Hamilton (2007). The Gentle Subversive: Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, and the Rise of the Environmental Movement. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517246-9.
- Oreskes, Naomi; Conway, Erik M. (2010). Merchants of Doubt. New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-59691-610-4.
- Carson, Rachel (2002) [1st. Pub. Houghton Mifflin, 1962]. Silent Spring. Mariner Books. ISBN 0-618-24906-0. Silent Spring initially appeared serialized in three parts in the June 16, June 23, and June 30, 1962 issues of The New Yorker magazine
- Graham, Frank (1970) [1st. Pub. Houghton Mifflin, 1970]. Since Silent Spring. Fawcett. ISBN 0-449-23141-0.
- Silent Spring Revisited, American Chemical Society, 1986: ISBN 0-317-59798-1, 1987: ISBN 0-8412-0981-2
- Litmans, Brian; Miller, Jeff (2004). Silent Spring Revisited: Pesticide Use And Endangered Species. Diane Publishing Co. ISBN 0-7567-4439-3.
- Lear, Linda (1997). Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-3428-5.
- Murphy, Priscilla Coit (2005). What A Book Can Do: The Publication and Reception of Silent Spring. University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 1-55849-476-6.
- United States Environmental Protection Agency "What is DDT?". Retrieved April 26, 2006
- 'DDT Chemical Backgrounder', National Safety Council at the Wayback Machine (archived December 26, 2005). Retrieved May 30, 2005
- Report on Carcinogens, Fifth Edition; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Toxicology Program (1999).
- McLaughlin, Dorothy. "Fooling with Nature: Silent Spring Revisited". Frontline. PBS. Retrieved August 24, 2010.
- "DDT". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- Paull, John (2013) "The Rachel Carson Letters and the Making of Silent Spring", Sage Open, 3(July):1-12.
- Josie Glausiusz. (2007), Better Planet: Can A Maligned Pesticide Save Lives? Discover Magazine. Page 34.
- Lear 1997, Ch. 14
- Murphy 2005, Ch. 1
- "Obituary of Marjorie Spock". Ellsworthmaine.com. January 30, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2009.[dead link]
- Matthiessen, Peter (2007). Courage for the Earth: Writers, Scientists, and Activists Celebrate the Life and Writing of Rachel Carson. Mariner Books. p. 135. ISBN 0-618-87276-0.
- Himaras, Eleni (May 26, 2007). "Rachel's Legacy – Rachel Carson's groundbreaking 'Silent Spring'". The Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA).
- Wishart, Adam (2007). One in Three: A Son's Journey Into the History and Science of Cancer. New York, NY: Grove Press. p. 82. ISBN 0-8021-1840-2.
- Hynes, H. Patricia (September 10, 1992). "PERSPECTIVE ON THE ENVIRONMENT Unfinished Business: 'Silent Spring' On the 30th anniversary of Rachel Carson's indictment of DDT, pesticides still threaten human life". Los Angeles Times. p. 7 (Metro Section).
- Lear 1997, pp. 312–7
- Lear 1997, pp. 317–327
- Lear 1997, pp. 327–336
- Lear 1997, pp. 342–6
- Lear 1997, pp. 358–361
- Lear 1997, pp. 355–8
- Lear 1997, pp. 360–8
- Lear 1997, pp. 372–3. The photo essay, "The Sea", was published in Johns Hopkins Magazine, May/June 1961; Carson provided the captions for Hartmann's photographs.
- Lear 1997, pp. 376–7
- Coates, Peter A. (October 2005). "The Strange Stillness of the Past: Toward an Environmental History of Sound and Noise". Environmental History 10 (4). Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- Lear 1997, pp. 375, 377–8, 386–7, 389
- Lear 1997, pp. 390–7
- Paull, John (2013) The Rachel Carson letters and the making of Silent Spring, Sage Open, 3(July):1-12.
- Lytle 2007, pp. 166–7
- Lytle 2007, pp. 166–172
- Carson 1962, pp. 225
- Lytle 2007, pp. 169, 173
- Carson 1962, pp. 266
- Carson 1962, pp. 267
- Carson 1962, pp. 275
- Lear 1997, pp. 397–400
- Lear 1997, pp. 375, 377, 400–7. Douglas's dissenting opinion on the rejection of the case, Robert Cushman Murphy et al., v. Butler et al., from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, is from March 28, 1960.
- Lear 1997, pp. 407–8. Quotation (p. 408) from a June 13, 1962 letter from Carson to Dorothy Freeman.
- Lear 1997, pp. 409–413
- Lear 1997, pp. 416, 419
- Lear 1997, pp. 412–420
- Lear 1997, pp. 433–4
- Quoted in Lear 1997, p. 434
- Lear 1997, pp. 429–430. Benson's supposed comments were widely repeated at the time, but have not been directly confirmed.
- Murphy 2005, pp. 9
- Carson, Silent Spring, 275
- Lear 1997, pp. 437–449; quotation from 449.
- Lear 1997, pp. 449–450
- The Time 100: Scientists and Thinkers, accessed September 23, 2007
- Lear 1997, p. 461
- 2003 National Women's History Month Honorees: Rachel Carlson at the Wayback Machine (archived December 8, 2005). Retrieved September 23, 2007.
- Lear 1997, pp. 451–461, 469–473
- Hynes 1989, p. 3
- Hynes 1989, pp. 8–9
- Hynes 1989, pp. 46–7
- Hynes 1989, pp. 47–8, 148–163
- Gary Kroll, "Rachel Carson-Silent Spring: A Brief History of Ecology as a Subversive Subject". Onlineethics.org: National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- Lytle 2007, pp. 217–220; Jeffrey K. Stine, "Natural Resources and Environmental Policy" in The Reagan Presidency: Pragmatic Conservatism and Its Legacies, edited by W. Elliott Browlee and Hugh Davis Graham. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7006-1268-8
- Lytle 2007, p. 217
- Baum, Rudy M. (June 4, 2007). "Rachel Carson". Chemical and Engineering News (American Chemical Society) 85 (23): 5.
- Examples of recent criticism include:
(a) Rich Karlgaard, "But Her Heart Was Good", Forbes.com, May 18, 2007. Accessed September 23, 2007.
(b) Keith Lockitch, "Rachel Carson's Genocide", Capitalism Magazine, May 23, 2007. Accessed May 24, 2007
(c) Paul Driessen, "Forty Years of Perverse 'Responsibility,'", The Washington Times, April 29, 2007. Accessed May 30, 2007.
(d) Iain Murray, "Silent Alarmism: A Centennial We Could Do Without", National Review, May 31, 2007. Accessed May 31, 2007.
- John Quiggin, Tim Lambert (24 May 2008). "Rehabilitating Carson". Prospect (146).
- Erik M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt, 2010, p.217
- Souder, William (Sept. 4 2012). "Rachel Carson Didn’t Kill Millions of Africans". Slate. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
- Dunn R (2012). "In retrospect: Silent Spring". Nature 485 (7400): 578–579.
- Trewavas, T., Leaver, C., Ames, B., Lachmann, P., Tren, R., Meiners, R., Miller, H.I., et al. (2012). "Environment: Carson no 'beacon of reason' on DDT". Nature 486 (7404): 473.
- Lytle 2007, pp. 220–8
- "Malaria Prevention and Control". East African Community Health.
- Erik M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt, 2010, p.226
- Erik M. Conway, Naomi Oreskes, Merchants of Doubt, 2010, p.223-4
- Malaria Foundation International. Retrieved March 15, 2006.
- Rachel Carson and DDT, Bill Moyers Journal, September 21, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2007.
- "The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century". National Review. Retrieved November 4, 2007.
- "25 Greatest Science Books of All Time". Discover Magazine. December 2006.
- Peakall, David B.; Van Emden, Helmut Fritz, ed. (1996). Beyond silent spring: integrated pest management and chemical safety. London: Chapman & Hall. ISBN 0-412-72810-9.
Richards H (September 1999). "Beyond Silent Spring: Integrated Pest Management and Chemical Safety. Edited by H.F. van Emden and D.B. Peakall". Integrated Pest Management Reviews 4 (3): 269–270. doi:10.1023/A:1009686508200.
- The Rachel Carson Council
- New York Times report of chemical industry's campaign July 22, 1962
- New York Times book review September 23, 1962
- Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): The Story of Silent Spring – NRDC
- Photos of the first edition of Silent Spring
- Silent Spring, A Visual History curated by the Michigan State University Museum