Presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley, chronicles the rise of environmental activism during the Long Sixties (1960-1973), telling the story of an indomitable generation that saved the natural world under the leadership of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon.
A panoramic history ... Absorbing ... The most intriguing theme...is the way that activists formed connections with presidents, environmental scientists and lawyers to build a nascent eco-consciousness ... Silent Spring Revolution also reads as a paean to the individuals, movements and politicians who saw federal intervention as the necessary solution to address the myriad environmental crises triggered by the modern industrial system. There are a few off-key notes. The book paints Big Oil and other large polluters, along with some government agencies, with a flat brush ... Overall, Silent Spring Revolution is an impassioned narrative that transports readers to a different, more optimistic world of popular support for eco-awareness and collective action. It is a book that sticks with you ... Brinkley’s book implies that the 'highway to climate hell' is far from our only choice.
Expansive and revealing presidential history ... Brinkley’s gift for fashioning a rich and seamless narrative may give the impression to some readers that these presidents focused all of their energies on addressing environmental concerns, which is somewhat ironic ... Silent Spring Revolution’s Nixon chapters a source of constant fascination ... Silent Spring Revolution proves consistently captivating, and it takes its place alongside trilogy-mates The Wilderness Warrior and Rightful Heritage as an essential addition to 20th century presidential history and the saga of American environmentalism, from its Roosevelt-era origins to the Long Sixties transformations that laid the groundwork for fighting the existential global climate crisis we face today.
This doorstopper of a book, however, is more than just a reminder of how deeply the country was buried in an ecological dumpster. It's also an inspirational tome, one that shows how a few dedicated people can take on the status quo and create meaningful change ... Brinkley has done a monumental job of research, all of which he presents clearly and dispassionately, refusing to criticize from our current more enlightened perspective actions taken 50 or more years ago.