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Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening

March 1 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join bestselling author Douglas Brinkley for a lecture about his newest book, Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening. This event is sponsored by the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley chronicles the rise of environmental activism during the Long Sixties, telling a highly charged story of an indomitable generation that quite literally saved the natural world under the leadership of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. JFK had been jolted by Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, published in 1962. Depicting the deathblow that could be dealt by artificial chemicals, specifically DDT, the book launched an eco-revolution among the American people, which went on to inspire landmark legislation during Lyndon Johnson’s and Richard Nixon’s presidencies. Brinkley records these milestones of the modern environmental movement through the first Earth Day in 1970, after which every American life would forever be touched by the environmental movement of the Long Sixties (1960–1973). Silent Spring Revolution is crucial to understanding the battle to protect America’s land, water, wildlife, and air. In a fast-evolving era when the nation is witnessing new types of environmental crises due to climate change and resource exhaustion, Douglas Brinkley’s meticulously researched and deftly written book is also a clarion call, reminding us of the passionate grassroots work that still needs to be done as the spirit of the Silent Spring Revolution continues well into the twenty-first century.

Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and Professor of History at Rice University, a CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He works in many capacities in the world of public history, including for boards, museums, colleges, and historical societies. Six of his books were named New York Times “Notable Books of the Year” and seven became New York Times bestsellers. His books include, among many others, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf CoastThe Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for AmericaRightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America; and Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

Program Notes:

  • Tickets are required for in-person admission. Tickets are not needed if you would prefer to join us live on YouTube or Facebook.
  • Members receive free admission. VMHC Members, remember to log in to reserve your ticket.
  • In-person attendees are invited to meet the author at the book signing immediately following the lecture.