Advisory Committee on Pesticides
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Murray Bookchin

Bookchin is a radical thinker. Last year he published a book just six months before Carson's, noting many of the harms that Carson profiles -- and more. Bookchin's work, however, has not received the same wide attention. The contrast poses the question of the relevance of Carson's fame and writing style, especially her emotive language -- as well as the politics of pesticides.

Be sure to review Chaps. 1-3,7,10-12,14 (and pp. 258-261) of Silent Spring. You should be able to comment on Carson's credibility and rhetoric, health/safety (cancer), and the balance and control of nature.


  • Lear, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature, see index [for orientation].
  • Herber, Lewis [pseudonym for Bookchin, Murray]. 1962. Our Synthetic Environment. New York: Knopf. Available online at Anarchist Archives:
    Note: the 1974 edition includes an informative new preface.
  • Vogt, William. 1963. "On Man the Destroyer." Natural History 72(#1, Jan.): 3-5. [review of Bookchin's and Carson's books]
  • . 1963. "Cassandra in the Cornfields." The Economist (Feb. 23, 1963): 71. [review of Bookchin's and Carson's books]
  • article by Zuoyue Wang.
  • last revised November 19, 2008