by Rachel Carson (1962)
If All Falls Quiet
Written by Rachel Carson nearly 60 years ago, this was a landmark book for the environmental movement. Despite the decades since its initial publication, it is no less timely and potent. Carson brought serious attention to the widespread use of chemicals in the agricultural industry, and the subsequent danger to all life on earth.
By investigating the specific poisons in use through herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides, she generated the vigorous (and ongoing) debate that helped launch the US environmental movement of the 1960s. Silent Spring is a critical book for understanding the continuity of this struggle and recognizing the impact that our choices have on the complex natural systems that support life.