The Radium Girls

The Radium Girls

The Dark Story of America's Shining Women

Book - 2017
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As World War I raged across the globe, hundreds of young women toiled away at the radium-dial factories, where they painted clock faces with a mysterious new substance called radium. Assured by their bosses that the luminous material was safe, the women themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered from head to toe with the glowing dust. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" were considered the luckiest alive -- until they began to fall mysteriously ill. As the fatal poison of the radium took hold, they found themselves embroiled in one of America's biggest scandals and a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights.
Publisher: Naperville, Illinois : Sourcebooks, Inc., [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
Multiscript Copyrightdate: 017
ISBN: 9781492649359
149264935X
Characteristics: xvi, 479 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

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m
mls2
May 02, 2021

Unbelievable true story!

olwils21 Apr 17, 2021

Even though this book is over 400 pages, I couldn't put it down and finished it within a day. Kate Moore is a brilliant author and you forget you're reading a lengthy non-fiction title. The subject matter is heart wrenching and I'm not ashamed to admit I cried towards the end, but it was so worth it to know the stories of these women and the sacrifices they made.

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LoriLynn43016
Feb 22, 2021

Many girls are named so I got lost in trying to follow all of them. Realize this is just a small percentage of those who lives were impacted by companies' careless choices. This book details out the process these young women were told in how to use Radium and then the court process and the impact it had on the origins OSHA.

t
thinktreez
Jan 28, 2021

cancelled hold

l
lindemuldercr
Oct 24, 2020

Modern Mrs Darcy

a
ajw7
Oct 22, 2020

Fantastic book! Everyone should read this so we don't forget what these ladies went through.

c
carolwu96
Oct 03, 2020

When the Curies successfully isolated the radioactive radium in 1902, private firms raced to occupy the market of luminescent watches. At the time, radium was not only thought to be safe, but also beneficial upon contact and even consumption. So when factories girls who were paid to paint watch faces put radium-dipped paintbrushes into their mouths, few expected the dire consequences that would later manifest in their bodies. ⁣⁣
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Except the companies themselves. But valuing profit over everything else, they created an illusion of healthfulness and gaslit the girls into silence, even when they began to suffer from tooth loss, non-healing wounds, miscarriages, bone fractures, cancer, and death itself. ⁣⁣
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As their employees suffered, these companies denied all knowledge and responsibility of their wrongdoings. Their lawyers refused to compensate for the lives lost. Their witnesses lied in court. The companies whose products illuminated the night had become night itself, and it was only after more than a decade of lawsuit that the women finally won their justice. ⁣⁣
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This book really reminds me of Bad Blood, which made my top 10 list in 2019. Despite the amount of information and the number of people involved in the case, Kate Moore is able to bring to life each woman’s pain and strength. Moore also writes with incredible style, with breath-gripping developments every other page and foreboding cliffhangers at the end of each chapter.⁣⁣
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The Radium Girls are remembered today for their pursuit of justice and the consequent implementation of labor protection laws, but beneath their almost martyr-like demeanors were just ordinary human beings. Human beings who wanted to help others, human beings who wanted to live to see their grandchildren, and human beings who rebelled against the way capitalism had trampled over their crippled bodies.

For more book reviews, visit me on Instagram @ RandomStuffIRead

e
elgranger
Jun 14, 2020

This is a topic that I've been interested in learning more about for a while, so I was eager to read this book. I was surprised that I found myself able to stick with it due to the length and heft of the topic, but I found myself hooked on the story. That said, there are some slow and redundant parts in the middle that nearly spoiled it. I was glad I powered through them because the latter part of the book when it starts discussing the legal fallout of the issue was the most interesting part. By the end of the book, I felt like I knew the girls. Side note- Don't skip the Epilogue and Author's Note at the end. They are very informative as well.

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dmessy
May 02, 2020

I feel this story would be more impactfal if it were told in half the length of it's current presentation. There are redundant details of each girl repeated throughout the book just to keep the reader's interest which I found boring and unnecessary.

Available as a ebook or eaudio, although I found the audiobook narrator wasn't the best. This book is a very eye-opening and important read, especially at a time when consumers and workers need to watch the behavior and interests of companies, investors, and government leaders so carefully. I chose this from a science reading list but the takeaways for me focused on the girls themselves, their desire to do well for their families, and their fight for equality and justice in the workplace.

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pink_dolphin_3025
Jan 29, 2019

pink_dolphin_3025 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 7 and 40

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Tjad2LT
Jun 17, 2017

Tjad2LT thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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cknightkc
Jan 27, 2020

“Lip… Dip… Paint.” - p. 18

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