This Saturday at 7, I’ll be talking at Book People in Austin with author Douglas Brinkley about his new book Silent Spring Revolution. I hope you can join us!
In Silent Spring Revolution, Douglas Brinkley pays tribute to those who combated the mauling of the natural world in the Long Sixties: Rachel Carson, a marine biologist and author; David Brower, director of the Sierra Club; Barry Commoner, an environmental justice advocate; Coretta Scott King, an anti-nuclear activist; Stewart Udall, the secretary of the interior; William O. Douglas, a Supreme Court justice; Cesar Chavez, a labor organizer; and other crusaders are profiled with verve and insight. Carson’s book Silent Spring, published in 1962, depicted how detrimental DDT was to living creatures. The exposé launched an ecological revolution that inspired such landmark legislation as the Wilderness Act (1964), the Clean Air Acts (1963 and 1970), and the Endangered Species Acts (1966, 1969, and 1973). In intimate detail, Brinkley extrapolates on such epic events as the Donora (Pennsylvania) smog incident, JFK’s Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Great Lakes preservation, the Santa Barbara oil spill, and the first Earth Day. With the United States grappling with climate change and resource exhaustion, Douglas Brinkley’s meticulously researched and deftly written Silent Spring Revolution reminds us that a new generation of twenty-first-century environmentalists can save the planet from ruin.
It’s a terrific book and I’m looking forward to talking with Dr. Brinkley about it. I first met him back in 2007 when we worked together in the fight to save the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend from being sold off by Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Dr. Brinkley is now a steering committee member of Environment Texas’ Million Acre Parks Project, which is working to get the state to protect an additional million acres of land as state parks by 2030.
If you’re in Houston, he’s also speaking about the book tonight at Congregation Emanu El.