Rachel Carson worked at the US Bureau of Fisheries for 15 years while developing a writing career at the same time. Her first book, 1941's Under the Sea Wind, became a best seller, but it was eclipsed by 1962's Silent Spring, one of the first books ever to highlight environmentalist issues. Carson focuses on the negative, widespread, and long-lasting effects of human activity on the environment, and illustrates this through one case study - the use of chemical pesticides in agriculture. Throughout Silent Spring, Carson argues against man's short-termist interfering in the natural world and highlights the potential dangers for both humanity and wildlife.
Carson knew the book would be controversial, and there was an outcry when it was published, particularly from pesticide manufacturers and agricultural big business. But her views eventually led to a change in attitudes and she is credited with bringing about the 1972 US ban on the harmful insecticide DDT, as well as other major changes in United States environmental law.