"Rachel Carson wasn't someone you'd expect to spark a movement. She was a quiet, petite woman who grew up poor, lived most of her life with her mother and relished solitary walks along the beach, watching birds and fish. Yet 50 years ago Thursday, this marine biologist published Silent Spring, widely credited with spurring the modern environmental movement."
"Her book warned of the dangers of indiscriminate spraying of synthetic pesticides, prompting grass-roots activism that led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and EPA's ban on most domestic uses of DDT in 1972.
'Silent Spring is such a watershed event. Very few books have had the same impact on public policy,' says William Souder, author of On A Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson. 'It's the fault line between conservation, which dominated the first half of the 20th century' and today's more politically divisive environmentalism, he says.'"