Many historians and lay people attribute the rise of the contemporary environmental movement to Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring and suburban middle class politics. However, an American environmental consciousness can be traced back to a much earlier period. Miners, loggers, and other laboring classes were all part of a nascent movement that challenged the impact of their industries and on the natural world and on their lives in the nineteenth century. The pioneering efforts by workers to confront environmental problems were closely intertwined with their struggles against economic exploitation and social inequality. By challenging the commonly held idea that Rachel Carson’s canonical book began the American environmental movement, The Myth of Silent Spring will teach students about locating the origins of social phenomenon and about questioning sources and assumptions when framing arguments.