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Silent Spring
Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1962. The uncorrected proof copy, with over 50 variations from the published text, some substantial, although in many cases it is the smaller changes that most reveal the intent of the revisions. Paragraphs have been deleted (and others added) between this state and the published version; one chapter title has been changed. In several instances, brand names of chemicals were removed. In one case, an identifying advertising slogan was deleted; in another, the sum of money involved in a matter of litigation was omitted. Some of Carson's conjectures (and those of her sources) were dropped or softened; probable but unsubstantiated cause-and-effect connections between chemical exposure and illness were left out or reworded. Throughout the rewrite that had to have taken place between these sheets and the finished book, qualifying phrases were added and incendiary remarks were deleted: Carson was making her work more cautious and less assailable, ensuring that her text would survive the attacks that would follow. The publication date of the final book is given here as 10/8/62; actual publication was in September. We have dated this proof at approximately late April, 1962. On April 5, Carson wrote to Dorothy Freeman (in a letter published in the 1994 collection Always, Rachel): "Miss Phillips called today (H.M. editor) and said text will go to printer today or tomorrow. Galleys in 2 or 3 weeks then!" Several small pencil notations on rear blank and in text. The preliminary pages of the proof are out of order, and the appendix is not included. One page corner is turned. Printed on rectos only and ringbound in tall, cardstock covers that are modestly sunned and edgeworn, with a small corner chip to the rear cover; still about near fine. A rare advance state of probably the most influential book in the history of environmental writing, which is commonly credited with having launched the modern environmental movement, and whose repercussions are still helping shape social policy today. These proofs predate the appearances of sections of the book in The New Yorker magazine, its first exposure to a general readership. We have only seen one other copy of these proofs in the past. [#035987] SOLD

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