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Our Stolen Future

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Our Stolen Future
by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski
and John Peterson Myers

$15.00 - Softcover - 316 pages



Over thirty years ago, Rachel Carson's Silent Spring first warned that man-made chemicals were taking a deadly toll on birds and wildlife. Only now however, are we recognizing the full consequences of this insidious threat, which is derailing sexual development and reproduction—not only in a host of animal populations but, it appears, in humans as well.

Written by two leading environmental scientists and an award-winning environmental journalist, Our Stolen Future has already become one of the most controversial and talked about books of the decade. Picking up where Silent Spring left off, this groundbreaking work gives an utterly gripping account that traces birth defects, sexual abnormalities, and reproductive failures in wildlife to their source—synthetic chemicals that mimic natural hormones, upsetting normal reproductive and developmental processes. And humans appear far from immune to the effects of these "hormone impostors." Male sperm counts have dropped as much as 50 percent in recent decades, while women have suffered a dramatic rise in hormone-related cancers, endometriosis, and other disorders. By threatening the ability to reproduce, these chemicals may be invisibly undermining the human future. Piecing together the clues, the authors detail how these industrial pollutants have spread with ease through the web of life from the equator to the poles, and explore what we can and must do to combat this invasion. Timely, urgent and scrupulously reported, this riveting story of scientific detection will have a major impact on public debate for decades to come. It is indispensable for those concerned about the profound human impact on the environment, the well being of our children, and the survival of our species.

"Its subject is so important and its story so powerful that it deserves to be read by the widest possible audience."
—New York Times Book Review

About the authors:

This is a most unusual book. The product of a collaboration by three authors, it uses an untraditional style to present a message that transcends traditional knowledge concerning synthetic chemicals, their safety, and how we perceive risk. The three of us who worked on this book—Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and Pete Myers—each brought different talents and experience to the task and played a different role in getting this book to press,. We entered into this collaboration because the increasingly complex problems facing us at the close of the twentieth century demand such cooperative efforts. They require more than any single individual can bring to the challenge.

Theo Colborn's seven years of work synthesizing the research on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and her extensive data have provided the scientific foundation for this effort. Dianne Dumanoski's challenge was to take the complex science and transform it into a story that would be accessible to everyone, including those without any scientific background. Dianne, who has reported and written about environmental science and policy for twenty-five years, supplemented this information through additional research and interviews. Pete Myers brought a background in science, as well as extensive experience in national and international environmental policy, adding another valuable dimension to our thinking. The authors developed and refined the book's structure and argument together, working closely and regularly in long sessions through much of the writing.

Since this is still an unfolding scientific mystery, it is told as a detective story with Theo Colborn and Pete Myers appearing as figures in the text, as do the other scientists who have played key roles. The first part of this story takes the reader through Theo's process of discovery as she reviewed the scientific literature concerning the health effects of synthetic chemicals on wildlife and humans. Theo is the sleuth in this scientific mystery not only because she really played such a role but also because we think this approach will engage the reader. As the book moves beyond Theo's early detective work, it begins to discuss the evidence and reflects the thinking of all three of us.

We live in a complex world that is going to require innovative approaches to deal with the problems technology has created. It has taken a nontraditional approach—involving extensive cooperation among experts from many disciplines—to reveal the nature of the chemicals that are stealing our future. Just as scientists had to break with convention to uncover this problem, we found we had to break with literary convention to tell the story of their discovery.

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