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As Influential as Silent Spring?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyMarch 24, 2006 11:38 AM


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I really, really enjoyed Elizabeth Kolbert's new book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe. I gave it a nice little review/plug in Seed. I would recommend it to anyone. Still, I must say, I was staggered to read on the book's Amazon page the following editorial review (it's unclear who from): "An argument for the urgent danger of global warming in a book that is sure to be as influential as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring." Er...Silent Spring is probably most influential environmental book of the 20th century (Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac may be a close runner up). Carson herself was selected by Time magazine as one of the century's 100 most influential people. So it is no insult to Elizabeth Kolbert to suggest that her own very brilliant book probably won't be quite so influential. After all, that would be true of more than 99 percent of all books published today. Perhaps they meant to say "in the tradition of Silent Spring?"

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