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MAKING THE MODERN WORLD
Stories about the lives we've made
people:Rachel Carson
Born: 27 May 1907, Springdale, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: 14 April 1964, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Writer, scientist, and ecologist.

Carson grew up in rural Pennsylvania. After graduating with an MA in zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932, she took a job with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. By 1936 she had risen through the ranks to become editor-in-chief of all their publications.

During this period, Carson wrote three books, Under the Sea-Wind, The Sea Around Us and The Edge of the Sea. These books constituted a biography of the ocean and gave Carson a solid reputation as a naturalist and writer.

Carson's literary success eventually allowed her to devote herself to writing. In 1962 she published the book for which she is famous, Silent Spring. In it she warned the public about the long-term effects of misusing pesticides. She challenged prevailing agricultural practices and called for a change in perceptions of the natural world.

Silent Springcreated a storm of controversy. The pesticide industry attacked Carson as an alarmist and tried to suppress the book. They failed. The book remained on the bestseller list for months and is still in print today.

Carson has been called the mother of the modern environmental movement. She died two years after Silent Spring was published, at the age of 56.

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