If you're feeling demoralized by the assault on our environment under the current administration, you might find inspiration in the PBS profile of environmentalist Rachel Carson.
When Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was published in 1962, the book became a phenomenon. A passionate and eloquent warning about the long-term dangers of pesticides, the book unleashed an extraordinary national debate and was greeted by vigorous attacks from the chemical industry. But it would also inspire President John F. Kennedy to launch the first-ever investigation into the public health effects of pesticides — an investigation that would eventually result in new laws governing the regulation of these deadly agents. Drawn from Carson's own writings, letters and recent scholarship, Rachel Carson illuminates both the public and private life of the woman who launched the modern environmental movement and revolutionized how we understand our relationship with the natural world.
The New Yorker has also released Carson's original 1962 article series Silent Spring.