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Silent Spring at 50: The False Crises of Rachel Carson

By Andrew P. Morriss, Roger E. Meiners, and Pierre Desrochers
About the Book

Widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement when published 50 years ago, Silent Spring has received little critical inquiry over the decades. In Silent Spring at 50: The False
Crises of Rachel Carson, a team of experts explores the book’s historical context and scientific
foundations and the policy consequences of its core ideas. Their analyses reveal how Rachel Carson’s
iconic work contains significant errors, often substituting sensationalism for fact and apocalyptic pronouncements for genuine knowledge.

What Others Have Said

"Rather than paying tribute to Rachel Carson’s manifesto Silent Spring at 50 pays her work the compliment of expecting and demanding that it stand up to empirical and theoretical doubts. My respect for Carson’s legacy has now been informed, tested, and refined by authors who treated Carson as the scientist she sought to be."

—Heidi M. Hurd, Director of the Program in Law and Philosophy, University of Illinois.

"This book offers a much needed perspective on one of the most misguided and overpraised books of the 20th century. However noble her intentions, in Silent Spring, Rachel Carson provided the impetus for a half-century of environmental policies that have cost hundreds of millions of lives and elicited antagonism toward many products and technologies that could have benefited the planet and its inhabitants."

—Henry Miller, Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

"Silent Spring at 50 brings together a brilliant collection of scholars to evaluate this founding text of modern environmentalism. Five decades after its publication they show that Rachel Carson got a lot of her science wrong and that her passionate advocacy may have resulted in more harm than good."

—Ron Bailey, Science Correspondent, Reason