The American Experience: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
February 08, 1993 (PBS)
Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring", published in 1962, is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement. It
has been featured in many lists of the best nonfiction books of the twentieth century. In the Modern Library List of Best
20th-Century Nonfiction it was at #5, among others. Most recently, "Silent Spring" was named one of the 25 greatest
science books of all time by the editors of Discover Magazine. The film combines excerpts from letters, books, television
programs, and archival footage with interviews.
The film examines a conflict that the book brought into focus: the conflict between many who believed that technology
could cure all ills and that nature could be controlled and others such as Rachel Carson who refused to believe that
serious damage to nature was inevitable and represented a reasonable price to pay for "progress."
The series "The American Experience", hosted by historian David McCullough, broadcast the hour-long historical documentary
“Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring,” with readings by Meryl Streep and excerpts from CBS Reports. Many of Carson’s
friends and colleagues were still living and were interviewed for the program.