Books: Profile in Water

THE SEA AROUND Us (230 pp.)—Rachel Carson—Oxford University ($3.50).

About 2½ billion years ago, a ball of whirling gases, intensely hot and rushing through the black spaces of the universe at immense speed, gradually became the earth. At one point, a great chunk of earthly substance was torn away—and the earth had a moon. The atmosphere developed, then came countless years of rain, filling in great gaps on the earth's surface. Thus the oceans were born.

This is the story with which Rachel Carson opens her book about the sea. Like a television camera rolling through a museum of rare objects, The Sea...

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