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Author Mart, Michelle, 1964-

Title Pesticides, a love story : America's enduring embrace of dangerous chemicals / Michelle Mart.

Publication Info. Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, 2015.


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 3rd Floor Stacks  363.738498 M36p 2015    ---  Available
 FSCC Non-Fiction  363.738498 M36p 2015    ---  Available
Description 337 pages ; 24 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Series CultureAmerica
Summary "'Presto! No More Pests!' proclaimed a 1955 article introducing two new pesticides, 'miracle-workers for the housewife and back-yard farmer.' Easy to use, effective, and safe: who wouldn't love synthetic pesticides? Apparently most Americans did--and apparently still do. Why--in the face of dire warnings, rising expense, and declining effectiveness--do we cling to our chemicals? Michelle Mart wondered. Her book, a cultural history of pesticide use in postwar America, offers an answer. America's embrace of synthetic pesticides began when they burst on the scene during World War II and has held steady into the 21st century--for example, more than 90% of soybeans grown in the US in 2008 are Roundup Ready GMOs, dependent upon generous use of the herbicide glyphosate to control weeds. Mart investigates the attraction of pesticides, with their up-to-the-minute promise of modernity, sophisticated technology, and increased productivity--in short, their appeal to human dreams of controlling nature. She also considers how they reinforced Cold War assumptions of Western economic and material superiority. Though the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and the rise of environmentalism might have marked a turning point in Americans' faith in pesticides, statistics tell a different story. Pesticides, a Love Story recounts the campaign against DDT that famously ensued; but the book also shows where our notions of Silent Spring's revolutionary impact falter--where, in spite of a ban on DDT, farm use of pesticides in the United States more than doubled in the thirty years after the book was published. As a cultural survey of popular and political attitudes toward pesticides, Pesticides, a Love Story tries to make sense of this seeming paradox. At heart, it is an exploration of the story we tell ourselves about the costs and benefits of pesticides--and how corporations, government officials, ordinary citizens, and the press shape that story to reflect our ideals, interests, and emotions"-- Provided by publisher.
"A provocative cultural history of pesticides and their controversial use and depiction in the United States. Mart contends that--despite the sharp concerns raised by environmentalists and others since the appearance of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring--Americans have not only never resolved the inherent tension between costs and benefits presented by these chemicals, but have actually grown ever more attached to them with the passage of time"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Falling in love: the golden age of synthetic pesticides -- Trouble in paradise: the USDA and the rise of critical voices -- Breakup?: The cultural impact of Rachel Carson's Silent spring -- Foreign affairs: how pesticides could help Americans feed the world and win a war -- The twenty-year itch: activists, experts, and the regulatory era -- Love is blind: chemical disasters at home and abroad -- Recommitment: endocrine disruptors, GMOs, and organic food.
Subject Pesticides -- United States -- History.
Agricultural chemicals -- United States -- History.
Pesticides -- Social aspects -- United States -- History.
Pesticides -- United States -- Public opinion -- History.
Public opinion -- United States -- History.
United States -- Social conditions -- 1945-
Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- United States -- History.
United States -- Environmental conditions.
Agricultural chemicals. (OCoLC)fst00800518
Ecology. (OCoLC)fst00901476
Nature -- Effect of human beings on. (OCoLC)fst01034564
Pesticides. (OCoLC)fst01059011
Pesticides -- Public opinion. (OCoLC)fst01059072
Pesticides -- Social aspects. (OCoLC)fst01059081
Public opinion. (OCoLC)fst01082785
Social conditions. (OCoLC)fst01919811
United States. (OCoLC)fst01204155
Chronological Term Since 1945
Genre/Form History. (OCoLC)fst01411628
ISBN 9780700621286 (hardback : alkaline paper)
0700621288 (hardback : alkaline paper)
9780700621576 (ebook)

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