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Selected Reading List

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Photo: portrait of  a smiling Rachel Carson, colorized .
Rachel Carson, 1944, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Author, editor, and aquatic biologist, she is best known for writing Silent Spring. Photo from NOAA Web site.


Conservationist and scientist, Rachel Carson was born May 27, 1907. In observance of the 100th anniversary of her birth, this bibliography lists books and articles available at the Library of Congress authored by and about Miss Carson, in addition to internet resources. The impact of her seminal book, Silent Spring (1962), is felt even today as our awareness of environmental contaminants continues to grow.


Brooks, Paul. The house of life: Rachel Carson at work, with selections from her writings, published and unpublished. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., c1989. 350 p.
   Bibliography: p. 331-343.
   QH31.C33B7 1989

Carson, Rachel. The edge of the sea. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1955. 276 p.

Carson, Rachel. Fish and shellfish of the middle Atlantic coast. Washington, U. S. Govt. Print. Off., 1945. 32 p. (Conservation bulletin, 38)

Carson, Rachel. Fish and shellfish of the south Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1944.
45 p. (Conservation bulletin, 37)

Carson, Rachel. Food from home waters ... Washington, United States Dept. of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, 1943. 44 p. (Conservation bulletin, 34)

Carson, Rachel. Food from the sea: fish and shellfish of New England. Washington, U. S. Govt. Print. Off., 1943. 74 p. (Conservation bulletin, v. 33)

Carson, Rachel. Of man and the stream of time. Claremont, CA, Scripps College, 1962. 11 p.

Carson, Rachel. The sea around us. New York, Oxford University Press, 1951. 230 p.
   Bibliography: p. 217-220.

Carson, Rachel. Under the sea-wind, a naturalist's picture of ocean life. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1941. 316 p.

Carson, Rachel, Lois Darling, and Louis Darling. Silent spring. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, Cambridge, MA, Riverside Press, 1962. 368 p.
   Bibliography: p. 299-355.
   QH545.P4C38 1962

Carson, Rachel, Dorothy Freeman, and Martha E. Freeman. Always, Rachel: the letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964. Boston, Beacon Press, c1995. 567 p.
   Bibliography: p. 547-551.
   QH31.C33A4 1995

Carson, Rachel, and Linda J. Lear. Lost woods: the discovered writing of Rachel Carson. Boston, Beacon Press, c1998. 267 p.
   QH81.C3546 1998

Carson, Rachel, and Charles Pratt. The rocky coast. New York, McCall Pub. Co., 1971. 118 p.
   QH541.5.S35C37 1971
   "The complete text first appeared as a chapter entitled 'The rocky shores' in The edge of the sea."

Carson, Rachel, and Charles Pratt. The sense of wonder. New York, Harper & Row, 1965, c1956. 89 p.
   Text first appeared in Woman's home companion under title "Help your child to wonder."

Rachel Carson Publications by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Alaska Wildlife Library and Information Service)
   Includes Adobe Acrobat versions of articles from Conservation bulletin, and Conservation in action.



And no birds sing: rhetorical analyses of Rachel Carson's Silent spring. Edited by Craig Waddell. Carbondale, IL, Southern Illinois University Press, c2000. 232 p.
   Includes bibliographical references
   QH545.P4C3833 2000

Briggs, Shirley Ann. Silent spring: the view from 1987. Chevy Chase, MD, Rachel Carson Council, c1987. 20 p.
   Issued in the 25th anniversary year of the publishing of Rachel Carson's Silent spring.
   Bibliography: p. 19-20.
   SB950.2.A1B75 1987

Graham, Frank. Since Silent spring. Boston, Houghton-Mifflin, 1970. 333 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.

Hynes, H. Patricia. The recurring silent spring. New York, Pergamon Press, 1989. 227 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   QH545.P4H96 1989

MacGillivray, Alex. Rachel Carson's Silent spring. Hauppauge, NY, Barron's, 2004. 128 p.
   Bibliography: p. 124-125.
   QH545.P4C3836 2004

Murphy, Priscilla Coit. What a book can do: the publication and reception of Silent spring. Amherst, University of Massachusetts Press, c2005. 254 p.
   Bibliography: p. 223-250.
   QH545.P4M87 2005

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): The Story of Silent Spring.

Silent spring revisited. Edited by Gino J. Marco, Robert M. Hollingworth, and William Durham. Washington, American Chemical Society, 1987. 214 p.
   Based on a symposium on the topics posed in Rachel Carson's Silent spring, held in Philadelphia, Aug. 1984.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   QH545.P4S55 1987

Wild reckoning: an anthology provoked by Rachel Carson's Silent spring. Edited by John Burnside and Maurice Riordan. London, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, c2004. 254 p.
   PR1195.N3W55 2004
   "Seventeen of these poems were commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to mark the fortieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring ..."



Archer, Jules. Rachel Carson. In his To save the earth: the American environmental movement. New York, Viking, 1998. p. 46-85.
   Bibliography: p.189-191.
   GE55.A73 1998

Brooks, Paul. Speaking for nature: how literary naturalists from Henry Thoreau to Rachel Carson have shaped America. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1980. 304 p.
   Bibliography: p. 289-294.

Colborn, Theo, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers. Our stolen future: are we threatening our fertility, intelligence, and survival?: a scientific detective story. New York, Dutton, c1996. 306 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   RA1224.2.C65 1996

Free, Ann Cottrell, Albert Schweitzer, and Rachel Carson. Since Silent spring: our debt to Albert Schweitzer & Rachel Carson: an address. Washington, Flying Fox Press, c1992. 18 p.
   HC79.E5F696 1992

Gartner, Carol B. Rachel Carson. New York, Ungar Pub. Co., c1983. 161 p.
   Bibliography: p. 151-153.
   QH31.C33G37 1983

Holmes, Madelyn. Rachel Carson (1907-1964). In her American women conservationists: twelve profiles. Jefferson, NC, McFarland, c2004. p. 115-139.
   QH26.H66 2004

Lear, Linda J. Rachel Carson: witness for nature. New York, H. Holt, 1997. 634 p.
   Bibliography: p. 585-609.
   QH31.C33L43 1997

McCay, Mary A. Rachel Carson. New York, Twayne Publishers; Toronto, Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York, Maxwell Macmillan International, c1993. 122 p.
   Bibliography: p. 115-117.
   QH31.C33M34 1993

Online Ethics Center: Rachel Carson and Silent Spring.
   Biographical information including information about the writing of Silent spring, and links relating to pesticides.

Quaratiello, Arlene Rodda. Rachel Carson: a biography. Westport, CT, Greenwood Press, 2004. 138 p.
   QH31.C33Q37 2004

Rachel Carson: a Conservation Legacy (US Fish & Wildlife Service).

Steingraber, Sandra. Living downstream: an ecologist looks at cancer and the environment. Reading, MA, Addison-Wesley Publishing, c1997. 357 p.
   Bibliography: p. 277-340.
   RC268.25.S74 1997



Alexander, Charles. Breaking the silence on DDT. Time, v. 161, Mar. 31, 2003: A36.

Bekoff, Marc, and Jan Nystrom. The other side of silence: Rachel Carson's views of animals. Zygon, v. 39, Dec. 2004: 861-883.

Bryson, Michael A. Nature, narrative, and the scientist-writer: Rachel Carson's and Loren Eiseley's critique of science. Technical communication quarterly, v. 12, fall 2003: 369-387.

Cafaro, Philip. Rachel Carson's environmental ethics. Worldviews: environment, culture, religion, v. 6, no. 1, 2002: 58-80.

Cone, Marla. The unbroken chain: on Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and a question for our times: how safe do we want to be? Columbia journalism review, v. 44, July/Aug. 2005: 65-68.

Corbett, Julia B. Women, scientists, agitators: magazine portrayal of Rachel Carson and Theo Colborn. Journal of communication, v. 51, Dec. 2001: 720-749.

Curran, Giorel. Whither environmentalism? Environmental politics in the 21st century. Social alternatives, v. 25, second quarter, 2006: 48-53.

Cushman, John H., Jr. After 'Silent spring,' industry put spin on all it brewed. New York times, Mar. 26, 2001: A14.

Dorsey, Ellen, and Marie Thormodsgard. Rachel Carson warned us. Ms., v. 12, winter 2002: 42-45.

Jones, Gordon S. The destructive legacy of Rachel Carson. Human events, v. 58, Aug. 26, 2002: 11.

Kneeshaw, Stephen. Biography as environmental "herstory." OAH magazine of history, v. 20, Jan. 2006: 20-24.

Matthiessen, Peter. Rachel Carson. Time, v. 153, Mar. 29, 1999: 187-189.

Michaels, David. Environmental health science and the legacy of popular literature. Environmental health perspectives, v. 111, Jan. 2003: A14-A15.
   RA565.A1 E13

Moore, Kathleen Dean. The truth of the barnacles: Rachel Carson and the moral significance of wonder. Environmental ethics, v. 27, fall 2006: 265-277.

Newell, Diana. Home truths: women writing science in the nuclear dawn. European journal of American culture, v. 22, no. 3: 193-203.
   Electronic format in Academic Search Premier

Seager, Joni. Rachel Carson died of breast cancer: the coming of age of feminist environmentalism. Signs: journal of women in culture & society, v. 28, spring 2003: 945-972.

Smith, Michael B. 'Silence, Miss Carson!' science, gender, and the reception of 'Silent spring'. Feminist studies, v. 27, fall 2001: 733-752.

Solnit, Rebecca. Three who made a revolution. Nation, v. 282, Apr. 3, 2006: 29-32.

Watson, Bruce. Sounding the alarm. Smithsonian, v. 33, Sept. 2002: 115-117.



Bowdish, Lynea. With courage: seven women who changed America. New York, Mondo, c2004. 48 p.
   HQ1412.B66 2004
   Summary: Profiles seven American women--Rachel Carson, Katharine Graham, Dolores Huerta, Wilma Mankiller, Maya Lin, Kathleen McGrath, and Condoleezza Rice--who came to prominence within the last fifty years, focusing on each one's achievements and role as a pioneer.

Burby, Liza N. Rachel Carson: writer and environmentalist. New York, PowerKids Press, 1997. 24 p.
   QH91.3.C3B87 1997

Byrnes, Patricia. Environmental pioneers. Minneapolis, Oliver Press, c1998. 160 p.
   Bibliography: p. 151-152.
   GE55.B97 1998
   Summary: Profiles people who have been influential in the environmental movement: John Muir, Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling, Rosalie Edge, Aldo Leopold, Olaus and Margaret Murie, Rachel Carson, David Brower, and Gaylord Nelson.

Gow, Mary. Rachel Carson: ecologist and activist. Berkeley Heights, NJ, Enslow Publishers, c2005. 128 p.    Bibliography: p. 124-125.
   QH31.C33A42 2005

Harlan, Judith. Sounding the alarm: a biography of Rachel Carson. Minneapolis, Dillon Press, c1989. 128 p.
   Bibliography: p. 122-125.
   QH31.C33H37 1989

Landau, Elaine. Rachel Carson and the environmental movement. New York, Children's Press, c2004. 48 p.    Bibliography: p. 46.
   QH31.C33L36 2004
   Summary: Discusses author and marine biologist Rachel Carson's efforts to protect the environment, from her childhood nature outings in Pennsylvania through the impact of her 1962 book, "Silent Spring."

Latham, Jean Lee, and Victor Mays. Rachel Carson, who loved the sea. New York, Chelsea Juniors, 1991. 80 p.
   QH91.3.C3L37 1991
   Originally published Champaign, IL, Garrard Pub. Co., 1973.

Locker, Thomas, and Joseph Bruchac. Rachel Carson: preserving a sense of wonder. Golden, CO, Fulcrum Pub., c2004. 30 p.
   QH31.C33L63 2004
   Summary: A biography of Rachel Carson interspersed with her own memorable quotes.

Ransom, Candice F., and Shelly O. Haas. Listening to crickets: a story about Rachel Carson. Minneapolis, Carolrhoda Books, c1993. 64 p.
   Bibliography: p. 62-64.
   QH31.C33R36 1993

Ravage, Barbara. Rachel Carson: protecting our environment. Austin, TX, Raintree Steck-Vaughn, c1997. 111 p.
   Bibliography: p. 108-109.
   QH31.C33R38 1997

Schlank, Carol Hilgartner, Barbara Metzger, and David A. Katz. A clean sea: the Rachel Carson story: a biography for young children. Culver City, CA, Cascade Pass, 1994. 38 p.
   QH31.C33S34 1994

Shea, George. Rachel Carson: founder of the environmental movement. Farmington Hills, MI, Blackbirch Press; Detroit, Thomson/Gale, c2006. 64 p.
   Includes bibliographical references.
   QH31.C33S44 2006

Stewart, Melissa. Rachel Carson: writer and biologist. Chicago, Ferguson Pub. Co., c2001. 127 p.
   Bibliography: p. 123-124.
   QH31.C33S74 2001

Tremblay, E. A. Rachel Carson: author/ecologist. Philadelphia, Chelsea House Publishers, c2003. 118 p.    Bibliography: p. 108.
   QH31.C33T74 2003

Wadsworth, Ginger. Rachel Carson, voice for the earth. Minneapolis, Lerner Publications, c1992. 128 p.
   Bibliography: p. 123.
   QH31.C33W34 1991

Wheeler, Leslie. Rachel Carson. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Silver Burdett Press, c1991. 138 p.
   Bibliography: p. 126-127.
   QH31.C33W44 1991



Rachel Carson Homestead.
   Works to preserve the National Register historic site in Springdale, PA. Includes resource links, biography, and visitor information.

Rachel Carson Institute.
   Located at Chatham College, Pittsburg, PA, her alma mater. Programs promote environmental awareness.

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.
   Preserves marshland along the coast of Maine. Information about Rachel Carson includes a video and excerpts from her writings.

   Devoted to the life and legacy of Rachel Carson.

Rachel Carson: Pen against Poison. U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs, Mar. 2007. 20 p.

Rachel Carson Society (Sierra Club).

Silent Spring Institute (Newton, MA).
   Dedicated to identifying the links between the environment and women's health, especially breast cancer.



Dorothy Freeman Collection. Edmund S. Muskie Archives & Special Collections Library, Bates College, Lewiston, ME.
   Correspondence in the collection documents the friendship of Dorothy Freeman and Rachel Carson.

Rachel Carson Papers. American Literature Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Rachel Carson papers, 1921-1989.
   Bequest of Rachel Carson, 1965; later gifts from Houghton Mifflin Company and Marie Rodell.

Compiled by Susan Westerberg Cole

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