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Rachel Carson's landmark "Silent Spring" first appeared 36 years ago. How did it -- and the environmental movement it created -- impact your life?

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The book that launched the environmental movement

April 13, 1998
Web posted at: 5:28 p.m. EST (2228 GMT)

(CNN) -- In 1962 naturalist Rachel Carson published "Silent Spring" and touched off the environmental movement in the United States.

The Pennsylvania native died on April 14, 1964, following a long battle with cancer.

"Silent Spring" warned Americans of the dangers of unbridled pesticide use -- and the likelihood that spring mornings would some day be silent and devoid of wildlife.

During a 15-year career with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Carson penned pamphlets about conservation and natural resources, leaving government service in 1952 to pursue writing full time. Her first three books -- "Under the Sea-Wind" (1941), "The Sea Around Us" (1952) and "The Edge of the Sea" 1955) established Carson as a writer whose lyric prose made the worlds of science and nature easily accessible to the general public.

In "Silent Spring," Carson warned that man's imperfect understanding of how biological agents work was a recipe for disaster.


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