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Sunday, Oct 17, 2021
Outlook.com

My Book of the Century

My Book of the Century
My Book of the Century
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, first published in '62, is a passionate attack on the illegitimate union of science and capitalism. Aimed in the first instance at chemical pesticides, it is also a more general polemic against a 'one-eyed' science that seeks only to augment profits. The narrative is full of foreboding, but the book ends with an offering of hope, that biological methods of pest control would give humans a last chance to 'reach a destination that assures the preservation of our earth'. Silent Spring is a marvel of scholarship and literature, which, more than any other single happening, gave rise to the modern environmental movement. Indeed, only one other book published this century has had a comparable impact on politics and society. That is J.M. Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1937), written however in a style that will intimidate even those with a degree from the Delhi School of Economics (such as myself). By contrast, one doesn't need high school biology to learn from and be moved by Carson's great book.

(Ram Guha is a...

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