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LGM Podcast: Decentering Rachel Carson


For today’s podcast, I interviewed Chad Montrie, from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, on his 2018 book The Myth of Silent Spring: Rethinking the Origins of American Environmentalism. This is a brief and highly accessible book that places the origins of American environmentalism not with Rachel Carson, but rather with the everyday people who have fought against industrial capitalism since the early 19th century. Among the subjects of our conversation was the weaknesses of Silent Spring, how the narratives of environmentalism too often avoid race and class, how the people so often valorized as the founders of the movement were the same people who moved to the suburbs to flee living around Black people, the problems of the field of environmental history reflecting these blind spots to race and class, and thoughts about how to bridge the gap between organized labor and environmentalism. Hope you enjoy it!

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