The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedRachel Carson
Title QuotedSilent spring / by Rachel Carson ; drawings by Lois and Louis Darling
Date (Year/Month/Day)1963/01/12
ImprintBoston [etc.] : Houghton Mifflin [etc.]. 1962
QuotationAnne Ford very kindly sent me your latest book, Silent Spring, which I am reading carefully and with great concern. I want to tell you first of all that I compliment you on the fine, exact, and persuasive book you have written, and secondly that it is perhaps much more timely even than you or I realize. Though you are treating of just one aspect, and a rather detailed aspect, of our technological civilization, you are, perhaps without altogether realizing, contributing a most valuable and essential piece of evidence for the diagnosis of the ills of our civilization. The awful irresponsibility with which we scorn the smallest values is part of the same portentous irresponsibility with which we dare to use our titanic power in a way that threatens not only civilization but life itself. The same mental processing"”I almost said mental illness"”seems to be at work in both cases, and your book makes it clear to me that there is a consistent pattern running through everything that we do, through every aspect of our culture, our thought, our economy, our whole way of life. What this pattern is I cannot say clearly, but I believe it is now the most vitally important thing for all of us, however we may be concerned with our society, to try to arrive at a clear, cogent statement of our ills, so that we may begin to correct them.
JournalWitness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1994, p. 70
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