The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson


Originally published in 1951, The Sea Around Us is one of the most influential books ever written about the natural world.

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Our Bookseller Says:

Beginnings are apt to be shadowy, and so it is with the beginnings of that great mother of life, the sea.

If this book doesn’t make you want to be a poet or an oceanographer or a marine biologist or all of the above, I don’t know. I learned more in the first twenty pages about the sea, about how to set a scene, about how to use a most luscious sentence to tell a most dry fact, than I have from any book.

If you’re only ever going to read one account of the sea or even one science writer, make it Carson.

My jaw is still firmly on the floor.” <3 Miranda


Rachel Carson’s ability to combine scientific insight with poetic prose catapulted her book to the top of The New York Times best-seller list, where it remained for more than a year and a half. Ultimately it sold well over a million copies, was translated into 28 languages, inspired an Academy Award-winning documentary, and won both the National Book Award and the John Burroughs Medal.

The Sea Around Us remains as fresh today as when it first appeared over six decades ago. Carson’s genius for evoking the power and primacy of the world’s bodies of water, combining the cosmic and the intimate, remains almost unmatched: the newly formed Earth cooling beneath an endlessly overcast sky; the centuries of nonstop rain that created the oceans; giant squids battling sperm whales hundreds of fathoms below the surface; the power of the tides moving 100 billion tons of water daily in one bay alone; the seismic waves known as tsunamis that periodically remind us of the oceans’ overwhelmingly destructive power. The seas sustain human life and imperil it. Today, with the oceans endangered by the dumping of medical waste and ecological disasters such as the Exxon oil spill in Alaska, the gradual death of the Great Barrier Reef, and the melting of the polar ice caps, Carson’s book provides a timely reminder of both the fragility and the centrality of the ocean and the life that abounds within it. Anyone who loves the sea, or who is concerned about our natural environment, will want to read, or re-read, this classic work.

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson