What is the legacy of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring?
Fifty years after its publication, Rachel Carson's investigation into pesticides still divides opinion. Leo Hickman, with your help, examines its legacy. Post your views below, firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @LeoHickman
Biologist and author Rachel Carson at home with pet cat Moppet on 24 September 1962. Photograph: Alfred Eisenstaedt/Getty Image
The book is often cited as an environmental classic - of which there can be little doubt - but it is also said by some to have largely triggered the modern environmental movement. Its warning about the dangers of pesticides touched a direct nerve in many, but it also reflected wider concerns at the time - a period that saw the birth of a "counter-culture" - that modern technologies, combined with rampant consumerism, were causing environmental problems that had otherwise not been widely noticed or, worse, suppressed by vested interests.
The book still clearly evokes plenty of emotion, not least in those who try to argue that Carson was directly responsible for millions of malarial deaths in the developing world due to the book's influence in gettingDDT banned in the early 1970s.
Is such an analysis fair? Would the environmental movement have developed at the same speed - and in the same direction - without the book's publication? Does it stand the test of time, particularly regarding its analysis of pesticides? And, more widely, what is the book's legacy?
Please leave your thoughts below. I will also be inviting various interested parties to join the debate, too. And later on today, I will return with my own verdict.
9.22am: It's always fun to look through the archives to see how a classic text was first received when it was published. The Guardian's research department couldn't find a review published in the Manchester Guardian - as it was then known - but it did find this review printed in the Observer.