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Monday, May 5, 2014

Wisconsin Led the Nation in Environmental Activism

Bill Berry on the banning of DDT

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DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is an odorless, tasteless organic compound controversial for its harmful effects on the environment and on human and animal health. Used as an agricultural pesticide, DDT spraying has released millions of chemical pollutants into the air and been the subject of countless environmental lawsuits. In Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way, Bill Berry explores the six-month-long 1968 trial held in Madison, Wis., that challenged the use of DDT to control Dutch elm disease. In this engaging chronicle, Berry shares the stories of ordinary citizens, from hunters and fishers to professors and scientists, and how together their inspiring activism resulted in new public policies that led the way toward modern environmentalism. 

A Green Bay native and veteran journalist, Berry will discuss his book at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, at Riverside Park Urban Ecology Center, 1500 E. Park Place. Admission is $10 ($5 for UEC members). For more information, visit urbanecologycenter.org.

 

Book Happenings

 

Poetry Night

7 p.m., May 9

Woodland Pattern Book Center

720 E. Locust St.

A dynamic trio of contemporary poets will perform live readings at Woodland Pattern. Nathan Hoks is the author of two books of poetry, Reveilles and The Narrow Circle; Genevieve Kaplan is the author of In the ice house and settings for these scenes; and Joel Craig is the poet behind The White House and the chapbook Shine Tomorrow.  

 

D.W. Rozelle

1 p.m., May 13

Graham Public Library

1215 Main St., Union Grove

For a century, the Taylor Children’s Home in Racine provided a sheltering environment for indigent kids. D.W. Rozelle recounts growing up in the home during the 1940s in The Kid Who Climbed the Tarzan Tree. The beautifully produced book, illustrated by C.A. Grooms, is a loosely constructed series of flashbacks to the wartime home front, a childhood spent in movie theaters (tickets were a quarter) and a caring institution that opened his mind to the wider world.

 

Martin Fletcher

7 p.m., May 14

Harry & Rose Sampson Jewish Community Center

6255 N. Santa Monica Blvd.

Jacob was barely alive in the Bergen-Belsen infirmary after the British liberated the Nazi death camp. But he was aware of the smirking camp guard, slipping away by posing as a victim rather than a perpetrator. In Martin Fletcher’s award-winning post-Holocaust novel, Jacob’s Oath, the protagonist vows to track and kill that man, only to be confronted by practical as well as ethical quandaries. Fletcher is familiar to generations of broadcast news viewers as NBC’s foreign correspondent—the voice of an era when network news wasn’t a subsidiary of the entertainment industry.