How to Sell a Poison

The Rise, Fall, and Toxic Return of DDT

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 12 Apr 2022 | Archive Date 11 Apr 2022
PublicAffairs, Bold Type Books

Description

The story of an infamous poison that left toxic bodies and decimated wildlife in its wake is also a cautionary tale about how corporations stoke the flames of science denialism for profit.

The chemical compound DDT first earned fame during World War II by wiping out insects that caused disease and boosting Allied forces to victory. Americans granted it a hero’s homecoming, spraying it on everything from crops and livestock to cupboards and curtains. Then, in 1972, it was banned in the US. But decades after that, a cry arose to demand its return. 


This is the sweeping narrative of generations of Americans who struggled to make sense of the notorious chemical’s risks and benefits. Historian Elena Conis follows DDT from postwar farms, factories, and suburban enclaves to the floors of Congress and tony social clubs, where industry barons met with Madison Avenue brain trusts to figure out how to sell the idea that a little poison in our food and bodies was nothing to worry about.


In an age of spreading misinformation on issues including pesticides, vaccines, and climate change, Conis shows that we need new ways of communicating about science—as a constantly evolving discipline, not an immutable collection of facts—before it’s too late.

The story of an infamous poison that left toxic bodies and decimated wildlife in its wake is also a cautionary tale about how corporations stoke the flames of science denialism for profit.

The...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781645036746
PRICE $30.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send To Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)