Rachel Carson is said to have sparked the modern day environmental movement with the publication of Silent Spring in 1962. She made vivid the gloomy prospect of life without birdsong. But have her warnings been heeded? Fifty years on, Conor Jameson reflects on the growth of environmentalism since Silent Spring. Using a particular style of nature writing that could be dubbed 'biogumentary', with its engaging narrative momentum, this revealing tale plots milestone events in conservation and cultural/political history to evoke the five decades since 'zero hour', 1962. Around this, Conor weaves touching personal observation and two decades of notes from his own roles in conservation. It is an attempt to answer the fundamental question: are we silencing the spring? 'It's been an eye-opening exploration of the recent past,' says the author. "It has been startling in places, for me and for colleagues I've spoken to. I think others may be a little startled too."
Conor has written for the Guardian, New Statesman, Ecologist, BBC Wildlife, Birds and Birdwatch magazines, among others. He has written two books for Bloomsbury - Silent Spring Revisited (2012) and Looking for the Goshawk (2013). He has worked in conservation for most of his life. He describes himself as a partial migrant, currently living in England.
What they said about Silent Spring Revisited:
"Essential reading for all contemporary environmentalists... A rich and important record of the triumphs and disasters. Anyone who has grown up enthralled by nature, will enjoy the young Conor's early experiences of wildlife and how the interest turned into a healthy obsession."
"If Nick Hornby loved nature, he might write a book like this."
Martin Harper, RSPB Director of Conservation
"An autobiographical strand gives a human aspect to the narrative, and there are a lot of fascinating details... the author succeeds, with a readable book which refreshed my memory"
"A trip down memory lane... a history lesson it certainly is, but stodgy it is not. Anecdotes and details bring the decades to life... It is very important that we have this book's clear record of what happened."
"A lively read... what makes Jameson's work especially enjoyable is the personal slant... This is a book that needs to be read."
"A fine writer, who weaves together an artist's sensibility with a conservationist's sense of reality... a vital read."
"Jameson uses Rachel Carson's 1962 work Silent Spring as a focus for reflection on conservation and environmentalism in the decades since then."
"Some lovely stories, and I really enjoyed dipping into the years and remembering. A delightful pot pourri".
"Lifted by the personal notes into an entertaining and easy read."
"A tale worthy of Edgar Allan Poe at his hair-raising best... every conservationist, every naturalist and every environmentalist should read Silent Spring Revisited... it should become a standard school textbook if the planet is to be saved."