Silent Spring


Loved it! 😍

Silent Spring brings to light the insidious killer of the Vietnam war: the pesticides the US government used on its own soldiers.

Born from personal experience, Silent Spring outlines with scientific rigour the intense health problems American soldiers who served in Vietnam would suffer years later due to the slow acting and insidious nature of the dangerous chemicals used in pesticides during the Vietnam war. Beyond that, Silent Spring reveals the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) refusal to acknowledge or pay for the health problems that were caused by those pesticides.

This book feels important. It sheds light on what is both a very unknown and a very important issue, both in the government’s initial incompetence in carelessly using harmful chemicals on its own soldiers, and in the denial of responsibility and abandonment of the very soldiers who had volunteered or in many cases been forced to serve in a war they never asked for once the health problems emerged. It is something that deserves to be talked about and researched and I appreciate this book for spreading awareness.

Part of what makes this book so powerful is it draws from the author’s own experience in Vietnam, his own health problems and the death of his friend, and his struggles with the DVA. The writing style is very conversational, which means it is not the most beautiful prose, but it helps balance out some of the highly scientific content of the book and make it more down to earth than an academic article. While the more scientific parts of the book were less interesting to me than the personal narrative, I applaud the author for making a conscious effort to provide as much evidence as possible to back up all claims. This book is very well researched.

My largest complaint with the book is that it makes little to no mention of the Vietnamese people who were undoubtably subject to similar if not worse effects of the pesticide use by the US government. However overall, it provides meticulous research and with personal emotional weight and I hope other people are inspired to educate themselves on this topic.

Reviewed by

My name is Georgia Ashworth and I have always believed in the power of an excellent book. I read a real mix of genres, but I love epic worlds, unique concepts, beautiful language and satisfying endings.

About the author

The author was stationed in South Vietnam for almost three years—from September 1966 through June 1969. While there he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant E-6 and awarded the Army Commendation Medal by the Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor. view profile

Published on December 01, 2019

Published by

60000 words

Genre: History

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