How Rachel Carson and Michael Harrington Changed the World

The 50th anniversary of two pathbreaking books—Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Michael Harrington’s The Other America—that helped change public opinion and public policy about the environment and poverty is discussed. Peter Dreier looks into what contemporary academics, including sociologists, can learn from the lives and careers of these two influential public intellectuals.

Comments 1

David S. Meyer

May 28, 2012

Rachel Carson and Michael Harrington (and Ralph Nader and Bette Freidan for that matter) are massively interesting, but there's a tendency to attribute too much to the texts. The Big Books myth, Deana Rohlinger and I argue in a very recent piece (below) edits out the importance of government action and political organizing in making social movements. Although it may be troubling for professors to hear: there are more effective things to do than writing.

David S. Meyer

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