Conservationist Rachel Carson spent over six years documenting the effects on DDT—a synthetic organic compound used as an insecticide—on numerous communities. Her analysis revealed that such powerful, persistent chemical pesticides have been used without a full understanding of the extent of their potential harm to the whole biota, including the damage they've caused to wildlife, birds, bees, agricultural animals, domestic pets, and even humans. In this book, Carson discusses her findings and expresses passionate concern for the future of the planet and all the life inhabiting it, calling on us all to act responsibly, carefully, and as stewards of the living earth. Additionally, she suggests that all democracies and liberal societies must operate in a way that allows individuals and groups to question what their governments have permitted to be put into the environment. An instant bestseller that was read by President Kennedy during the summer of 1962, this classic remains one of the best introductions to the complicated and controversial subject.