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Silent Spring Revisited (Natural History Narratives) [Hardcover]

Conor Mark Jameson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 May 2012 Natural History Narratives
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."

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (10 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408157608
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408157602
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 13.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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"
BTO News

"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."
Devon Birds

"A lively read... what makes Jameson's work especially enjoyable is the personal slant... This is a book that needs to be read."
Birdwatching magazine

"A fine writer, who weaves together an artist's sensibility with a conservationist's sense of reality... a vital read."
Birdwatch magazine

"Jameson uses Rachel Carson's 1962 work Silent Spring as a focus for reflection on conservation and environmentalism in the decades since then."
Nature

"Some lovely stories, and I really enjoyed dipping into the years and remembering. A delightful pot pourri".
Mark Avery

"Lifted by the personal notes into an entertaining and easy read."
Birds magazine

"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."
Kentish Times

Product Description

Review

Jameson... has skillfully stiched together a narrative that reveals the highs and lows of conservation, and will, I am sure, convince many that the good fight is still worth it. Birdwatch Your book was riveting. It gave rise to several different emotions within me, Sadness/anger/despair/frustration/enthusiasm. Wonderfully written, intersperced with humour. Factual,- it must have taken you forever to do the research. Craiking good stuff and needed to be said. All you need to do now is to get everyone who matters to read it. John McGlashan, Farmer A clear and concise historical overview of the failures and successes of the conservation movement since the 1960s; and it will rightly find a place on many a conservationist's bookshelf. British Birds 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 BTO News 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. Devon Birds A lively read... what makes Jameson's work especially enjoyable is the personal slant... This is a book that needs to be read. Birdwatching Magazine Jameson uses Rachel Carson's 1962 work Silent Spring as a focus for reflection on conservation and environmentalism in the decades since then. Nature Some lovely stories, and I really enjoyed dipping into the years and remembering. A delightful pot pourri. Mark Avery Lifted by the personal notes into an entertaining and easy read. Birds 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. Kentish Times If Nick Hornby loved nature, he might write a book like this. -- Martin Harper RSPB Director of Conservation Silent Spring Revisited is an enlightening read for anyone interested in wildlife conservation. It documents the history of environmentalism in Europe, but in so doing, reveals the heartbreak and fear, insight and hope, struggle and continued vigil of the many conservationists that uphold it as an ideal. The same could be said of Rachel Carson's book. I highly recommend reading both works of literature: begin with Carson's Silent Spring and follow with Jameson's Silent Spring Revisited to learn where we have gone in subsequent years. -- Stacia Novy

About the Author

Conor Mark Jameson has written for The Guardian, BBC Wildlife, The Ecologist, Africa Geographic, NZ Wilderness, Birdwatch and Birdwatching magazines and has been a scriptwriter for the BBC Natural History Unit. He is a columnist and feature writer for Birds magazine, and has worked in conservation for 20 years, in the UK and abroad. He was born in Uganda to Irish parents, brought up in Scotland, and now lives in England. He lives in a village an hour north of London, with a garden that Google Earth indicates may be reverting to woodland.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Spring Revisited - a must read title 15 May 2012
Format:Hardcover
I've been familiar with some of Conor Mark Jameson's writing in Birds Magazine, BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Guardian and was really looking forward to reading this.

I wasn't disappointed. The book - while covering some important stuff - is totally accessible and a delight to read.

Personal and poignant moments are combined with the history of Rachel Carson's work and the importance of her legacy today. At times moving, at times lyrical, this book combines serious fact and comment with some unique insights that reveal Jameson's genuine passion for our planet and the wildlife that walks upon or flies above it.

The accessibility and compelling nature of this book has inspired me to find out more about the history of environmentalism and how it affects the landscape we have now.

Highly recommended - for anyone who just loves a good read, as well natural history writing fans, bird and wildlife lovers, countryside aficionados and conservationists.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silent Surprise 16 May 2012
By Maceo
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
So, not having read a book for pleasure in an age I wasn't expecting to turn this book around in a short space of time - but that's what happened. This book is a great read - it does so many things without you really noticing - it engages, entertains, informs and even inspires - encourages you to lift your head from the pages and take a second to think about your surroundings. It's not pompous or pious about the environment, but reminds you of your place in a greater story.
The author's voice is writ large over this book and provides much of the central colour. His passion for the subject matter is clear, but communicated in a way that is inclusive. I think this book is a good read for all - but will be particularly appreciated by those with an interest in nature - whether walker, gardener, traveller or fully fledged conservationist.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Factual, fascinating and frightening 15 Feb 2013
By RADiCal
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Compelling reading for anyone who has a concern about the future of life on earth. Not being a bird watcher, I haven't followed the specific loses of birds but to me the general disappearance of our wildlife has been unmissable. This book very gently relieves the current health of nature, not only in the UK but across the interconnected world. Using birds as a barometer it suggests realistic changes to come; offering possible reasons for declines, highlighting hurdles for improvements; yet, rightfully, never losing a sense of hope.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important well researched book. 17 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover
This well researched book gives a detailed history of conservation over the last half century, including the author's own research into our lost birds. Yet it is much more than an account. It is brought to vivid life by the inspiring and sometimes poignant personal stories of the author who has spent his life championing birds nationally and internationally. The book is beautifully written with memorable descriptions: a dipper's song carried down a river; a frozen bird under a bridge; the bleak landscapes and destroyed hedgerows of East Anglia, which contrast sharply with the hedgerows of the author's neighbourhood, which as a parish councillor, he and other hedge laying volunteers have laid themselves. In my opinion Silent Spring Revisted is an important, well written book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read - or just dip in. 30 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great to read in one fell swoop - or just dip in and out as the passion finds you. Great book to use for quotations for college project.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the usual green polemic 11 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
First of all, full disclosure: the author is a client of mine. Having said that, no special pleading or log-rolling is needed for this book.

It's an unusual book in that it takes a light touch to a heavy subject: species extinction, or the threat of it. Taking as his starting point Rachel Carson's seminal work, 'Silent Spring', Conor leads us on a chronological world tour of the threats facing the world's birds, coupled always with a ray of hope as he shows us how small steps - and occasional big ones - can make a real difference.

Starting in the early sixties, he weaves a skillful and engrossing tale mixing observation, autobiography, travel writing, research and history that takes a hold of you slowly, but surely, and then never lets up until the closing pages that bring us right up to date in 2012 (a publishing marvel in itself).

His writing blends precision (always the first goal of any serious writer) with vivid description and evocative vignettes of life amongst birds from Scotland through New Zealand and the Amazon to his current home in rural Bedfordshire.

I am about as averagely green as the next man, ie not much, but I notice birds more now thanks to Conor's prose and clear passion for his subject.

As an aside, the book itself is rather beautifully produced with a great front cover and spare pencil illustrations at the start of each chapter.

If you are even vaguely interested in birds, "the environment" or how an individual (even one not working for the RSPB) can make a difference, read this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A delight to read 8 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent. Apart from being very interesting and easy to read it also draws together lots of strands, particularly historical ones. `How we came to be where we are' is going to be an invaluable lesson to those who want/need to plan where to go next. There are also some echoes of childhood in Lowland Scotland which (in my opinion) hit the spot.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Multidimensional Brief History of...
This book reads as a timeline from the 1960s through to 2012, and is a very useful overview of the major events and evolution of the environmental movement - primarily bird... Read more
Published 2 months ago by teresa
5.0 out of 5 stars Hope For The Future
This really is a compelling read. Whether or not we realise it, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was a huge catalyst for change for the environmental political landscape in the UK and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by JenTurner
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Nature, then you will love this book
Silent Spring is a great read, as someone who appreciates nature this book explains in an easy manner how that nature has been under threat from mankind and how the good folk at... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Chris Murray
4.0 out of 5 stars Nature
This is a hopeful book, despite the seemingly hopeless situation we find ourselves in, where we appear to be in danger of destroying the earth with our need for profits. Read more
Published 12 months ago by ANG
4.0 out of 5 stars Jue's review
Silent Spring Revisited
von Conor Mark Jameson
288s. Hardcover 14x22,5cm
Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2012
ISBN 978-1-4081-5760-2 £16. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jue
5.0 out of 5 stars What they said about Silent Spring Revisited
What they said about Silent Spring Revisited:

"Essential reading for all contemporary environmentalists... A rich and important record of the triumphs and disasters. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dezo
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