Elizabeth J. Rosenthal

American author and graduate with journalism and law degrees

Elizabeth J. Rosenthal is an American biographer.



Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson (2008)

All page numbers are from the trade paperback first edition, published by The Lyons Press ISBN 978-1-59921-962-2
All formatting as in the book
  • I believe that no mutiny ever got in under way unless there had been some shortcoming in the behavior of the captain.
    • Chapter 2, “The Boy Wonder and the Conservative Conservationist” (p. 48; quoting Robert Cushman Murphy)
  • In 1941 he (Roger Tory Peterson) seems to predict battles to come when he wrote: “Spraying kills the insects, but the effects are temporary. In short, we must choose between the two: to have some insects and some birds, or to spray and have no insects and no birds.”
    • Chapter 3, “Spreading His Wings” (p. 67)
  • We invent systems, Socialism, Fascism, Communism and Capitalism. Each despises the other. Yet, as Professor Aldo Leopold of the University of Wisconsin pointed out, they all espouse one creed: salvation by machinery. Is it any wonder that when these systems prove faulty and men detect the synthetic nature of the civilization of their devising they turn to nature? In a world that seems to have gone mad is it any wonder birds have such appeal? Birds are, perhaps, the most eloquent expression of reality.
    • Chapter 3, “Spreading His Wings” (p. 76; quoting Roger Tory Peterson)
  • This whole business of the slaughter of…birds…for their plumes for millinery purposes is one that every lover of nature and every person of humane feeling who understands the case will regard no less than infamous. This is one of the moral questions—to be classed with the opium traffic and the slave trade—to which there is but one side.
    In these days there is arising a many-sided and tremendous problem in regard to saving the natural world from ignorant, short-sighted, commercial vandalism. Every tree must be cut down, every plant pulled up, every wild thing slaughtered, every beautiful scene disfigured, if only there is money to be made from it.
    • Chapter 9, “Embryonic Conservationism” (p. 169; quoting Herbert K. Job)
  • DDT anywhere is DDT everywhere.
    • Chapter 11, “DDT, the Osprey, and the Old Lyme Offspring” (p. 239; quoting Roger Tory Peterson)
  • “Now celebrities are not ordinary people,” says Clement. “The world treats them differently and, therefore, they react differently.”
    • Chapter 14, “Offerings” (p. 293)
  • “I had always thought that accidents happened to other people. From now on I will fasten my seat belt,” he (Roger Tory Peterson) said.
    • Chapter 15, “Maturing with National Audubon” (p. 312)
  • “I don’t think Roger…was particularly religious in a Bible, church way,” says Lasley. “His religion was life. Nature.”
    • Chapter 19, “Still All over the Range Map” (p. 372)