"'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."
Upon its publication, Silent Spring led to an FBI investigation of Carson and attacks from the chemical industry that defamed her as a "Soviet agent intent on destroying American agriculture."
"The 'nun of nature,' as Carson was sometimes called, still prompts debate. Critics have seized on the 50th anniversary to question her work while supporters use it to highlight their causes..."