World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Marjorie Spock

Article Id: WHEBN0022248352
Reproduction Date:

Title: Marjorie Spock  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Silent Spring, Marjorie
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Marjorie Spock

Marjorie Spock (September 8, 1904, New Haven, Connecticut – January 23, 2008, Sullivan, Maine) was an environmentalist, author and poet, best known for her influence on Rachel Carson when the latter was writing Silent Spring. Spock was also a noted Waldorf teacher, eurythmist, biodynamic gardener and anthroposophist.[1]

Life

Marjorie Spock was born the second child and the first daughter of six children. Her older brother was Benjamin Spock, the world-renowned pediatrician and author of The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care.

At 18, Spock studied at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland where she met and worked with Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy. She was present at the "Christmas Conference" of December 25, 1923 – January 1, 1924 when the Anthroposophical Society was refounded.[1]

When she returned to the U.S., Spock received her BA and MA degrees from Columbia University at the age of 38. She was a teacher and served as the head of a progressive school in New York City. She also taught at the Rudolf Steiner School in New York City and the Waldorf School of Garden City, New York. Spock worked closely with Ehrenfried Pfeiffer for the biodynamic agriculture movement in the U.S.[1]

Environmental activism

In the late 1950s, Marjorie Spock was a biodynamic gardener on Long Island, New York. Spock complained when the government began indiscriminate aerial spraying of DDT over wide areas of the countryside against the perceived gypsy moth epidemic. When the spraying was not stopped, Spock brought a case with 11 other people against the United States government for the continued DDT spraying.[1] For Spock, the concern was for people’s health and the constitutional right for a property owner to manage her land free of government infringement.[2]

The Federal judge dismissed 72 uncontested admissions for the plaintiffs and denied their petition. When the case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1960, Spock wrote daily reports to interested and influential friends of the case's progress. Rachel Carson heard of Spock's case and soon got the daily reports. Carson used the testimony from the experts that Spock had found in her own research.[1] Spock's case, along with a massive bird kill on Cape Cod, provided the impetus for Carson's book, Silent Spring.[1]

The plaintiffs lost the case but won the right to enjoin the government, prior to a potentially destructive environmental activity, to provide a full scientific review of the proposed action.[2] With this right to environmental review, Spock helped give rise to the environmental movement.[1]

Publications

Books

  • Teaching as a Lively Art
  • In Celebration of the Human Heart
  • Eurythmy
  • To Look on Earth With More Than Mortal Eyes
  • Fairy Worlds and Workers: A Natural History of Fairyland

Pamphlets

These two pamphlets have had a broad readership.

Article

  • A B C D E F G: The Secret Life of Letters

References

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.