Silent Spring and Modern Environmentalism: A Fable for Tomorrow

Published in 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring is credited as being one of the first books that took the chemical industry head-on, critiquing the environmental orthodoxy of its time[1]. Its poetic use of language sought to properly engage the general public in environmentalism for the first time. For this, Silent Spring received raucous applause from environmentalists and has since never been out of print [2]. But what made its content so compelling? And, as we reflect on the six decades that have passed since its publication, what impact has Silent Spring had on how we think about conservation today? Over the next 2 articles, we will begin to answer these questions. However, to properly understand Silent Spring, we first need to understand the period in which it emerged.