My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Al Gore’s introduction to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring he wrote, “Silent Spring came as a cry in the wilderness, a deeply felt, thoroughly researched, and brilliantly written argument that changed the course of history.
Without this book, the environmental movement might have been long delayed or never have developed at all.”
In “And No Birds Sing” Carson began making clear connections with the use of pesticides and insecticides and the hazardous effects they have on birds.
In 1954 spraying for Dutch elm disease on the Michigan State University campus began and “soon it became evident that something was wrong. Dead and dying robins began to appear on the campus” (106).
Carson went on to include other species, writing:
“Mammals, also, may easily be involved in the cycle, directly or indirectly” (110).
Direct poisoning was no longer the only act to consider in the destruction of the Earth and its species, but indirect or secondary poisoning was belonging to the threat as well.
Carson further cites research after research article which began to draw a morbid picture of how pesticides/insecticides did more harm than good in both the United States and England.
At the end of the chapter, Carson asks, “Who has made the decision that sets in motion these chains of poisonings, this ever-widening wave of death that spreads out, like ripples when a pebble is dropped into a still pond” (127)?
In “Rivers of Death” Carson continues the onslaught of scientific facts which illustrate how pesticides and insecticides not only destroy the land but how they also contaminate water supplies, indirectly poisoning human beings.
Spraying of forests led to the toxins entering into the water supply, either by rainfall or by an underground source, which then in turn poisoned the fish, and when birds and humans ate the fish, they too were poisoned.
In addition, the poisoned waters would also find their way into the drinking water, poisoning more and more humans.
The chain which linked the initial spraying of chemicals apparently did not end with the designated targets. In efforts to save trees, humanity was finding, as Carson notes, that a cycle of life was becoming broken and species were dying in the hundreds of thousands, and in some cases in the millions.
Carson ends the chapter with a warning as much as a reminder:
“The fisheries of fresh and salt water are a resource of great importance, involving the interests and the welfare of a very large number of people. That they are now seriously threatened by the chemicals entering our waters can no longer be doubted” (152).
Carson makes it clear that if one unit of the whole is contaminated then all parts of the whole, in some form or manner, also become contaminated, seriously jeopardizing everything.
Carson’s jeremiad, as Al Gore noted, “brought us back to a fundamental idea lost to an amazing degree in modern civilization: the interconnection of human beings and the natural environment. This book was a shaft of light that for the first time illuminated what is arguably the most important issue of our era.”
Silent Spring woke a sleeping nation up, and the world, angering belligerent chemical producing companies, to the deadly possibilities and truths which had long been over-looked, even blatantly ignored, in efforts to maximize profits, but in the end did more harm than good.
I recommend reading Silent Spring and more about this remarkable woman that helped to make the world a better and safer place.
The American novelist CG FEWSTON has been a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy), a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, & he’s a been member of the Hemingway Society, Americans for the Arts, PEN America, Club Med, & the Royal Society of Literature. He’s also a been Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) based in London.
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father’s Son (2005), The New America: A Collection (2007), The Mystic’s Smile ~ A Play in 3 Acts (2007), Vanity of Vanities (2011), A Time to Love in Tehran (2015), Little Hometown, America (2020); A Time to Forget in East Berlin (2022), and Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being (2023).
He has a B.A. in English, an M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership (honors), an M.A. in Literature (honors), and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Fiction. He was born in Texas in 1979.
“A spellbinding tale of love and espionage set under the looming shadow of the Berlin Wall in 1975… A mesmerising read full of charged eroticism.”
“An engrossing story of clandestine espionage… a testament to the lifestyle encountered in East Berlin at the height of the Cold War.”
“There is no better way for readers interested in Germany’s history and the dilemma and cultures of the two Berlins to absorb this information than in a novel such as this, which captures the microcosm of two individuals’ love, relationship, and options and expands them against the blossoming dilemmas of a nation divided.”
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
“A Time to Forget in East Berlin is a dream-like interlude of love and passion in the paranoid and violent life of a Cold War spy. The meticulous research is evident on every page, and Fewston’s elegant prose, reminiscent of novels from a bygone era, enhances the sensation that this is a book firmly rooted in another time.”
“Vivid, nuanced, and poetic…”
“Fewston avoids familiar plot elements of espionage fiction, and he is excellent when it comes to emotional precision and form while crafting his varied cast of characters.”
“There’s a lot to absorb in this book of hefty psychological and philosophical observations and insights, but the reader who stays committed will be greatly rewarded.”
“Readers of The Catcher in the Rye and similar stories will relish the astute, critical inspection of life that makes Little Hometown, America a compelling snapshot of contemporary American life and culture.”
“Fewston employs a literary device called a ‘frame narrative’ which may be less familiar to some, but allows for a picture-in-picture result (to use a photographic term). Snapshots of stories appear as parts of other stories, with the introductory story serving as a backdrop for a series of shorter stories that lead readers into each, dovetailing and connecting in intricate ways.”
“The American novelist CG FEWSTON tells a satisfying tale, bolstered by psychology and far-ranging philosophy, calling upon Joseph Campbell, J. D. Salinger, the King James Bible, and Othello.”
“In this way, the author lends intellectual heft to a family story, exploring the ‘purity’ of art, the ‘corrupting’ influences of publishing, the solitary artist, and the messy interconnectedness of human relationships.”
GOLD Winner in the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards for Contemporary Realistic Fiction
FINALIST in the SOUTHWEST REGIONAL FICTION category of the 14th Annual National Indie Excellence 2020 Awards (NIEA)
“Fewston’s lyrical, nostalgia-steeped story is told from the perspective of a 40-year-old man gazing back on events from his 1980s Texas childhood…. the narrator movingly conveys and interprets the greater meanings behind childhood memories.”
“The novel’s focus on formative childhood moments is familiar… the narrator’s lived experiences come across as wholly personal, deeply felt, and visceral.”
American Novelist CG FEWSTON
This is my good friend, Nicolasa (Nico) Murillo, CRC, who is a professional chef & a wellness mentor. I’ve known her since childhood & I’m honored to share her story with you. In life, we all have ups & downs, some far more extreme than others. Much like in Canada, in America, the legalization of marijuana has become a national movement, which includes safe & legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use & research for all.
“This is a wellness movement,” Nico explains. The wellness movement is focused on three specific areas: information, encouragement, & accountability.
In these stressful & unprecedented times, it makes good sense to promote & encourage the state or condition of being in good physical & mental health.
The mission of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research.
TEXANS FOR SAFE ACCESS ~ share the mission of their national organization, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which is to ensure safe and legal access to cannabis (marijuana) for therapeutic use and research, for all Texans.
Stay safe & stay happy. God bless.
Nico Murillo Bio ~ Americans & Texans for Safe Access ~ Medical Cannabis