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The Radium Girls
Cover of The Radium Girls
The Radium Girls
The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
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A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller!"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark...
A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller!"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark...
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  • A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller!

    "the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."—NPR Books

    The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger

    The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

    But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

    Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Kate Moore is a New York Times best selling writer with more than a decade's experience writing and ghosting across varying genres, including memoir, biography, and history. In 2015 she directed a critically acclaimed play about the Radium Girls called 'These Shining Lives.' She lives in the UK. Visit her at http://www.kate-moore.com/.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 20, 2017
    British ghostwriter Moore traces the lives of more than a dozen American women who were employed as luminous watch-dial painters as early as 1917. She tells how these women, some barely in their 20s, were enchanted by high pay and the allure of the paint’s luminescent substance: radium. Carefully researched, the work will stun readers with its descriptions of the glittering artisans who, oblivious to health dangers, twirled camel-hair brushes to fine points using their mouths, a technique called lip-pointing. By the end of 1918, one out of six American soldiers owned a luminous watch, but the women had begun losing their teeth and entire pieces of their jaws. Moore describes the gruesome effects of radiation exposure on these women’s bodies, and she spares nothing in relaying the intense emotional suffering of their friends and families during subsequent medical investigations and court battles. In giving voice to so many victims, Moore overburdens the story line, which culminates with a 1938 headline trial during which a former employee of the Radium Dial Company collapsed on the stand and had to testify from bed. Moore details what was a “ground-breaking, law-changing, and life-saving accomplishment” for worker’s rights; it lends an emotionally charged ending to a long, sad book.

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from February 15, 2017

    Moore (Roses Are Red...) details the tragic stories of dozens of young women employed as dial painters during World War I. Often the daughters of immigrants, these women were lured to these prestigious and well-paying jobs unaware of the dangers of the radioactive paint present in their workplace--which caused their bodies and clothes to glow, even outside of work. With America's entry into World War I, demand for painted dials and painters skyrocketed. Soon, many employees suffered aching teeth and jaws, sore joints, and sarcomas. As their ailments worsened, many sought answers from their employers. They were met with denials and misinformation even as evidence mounted that radium poisoned these women. After nearly 20 years, several trials, and thousands of dollars in doctor and attorney fees, the women won a small measure of justice, but for some, it was too late. Moore's well-researched narrative is written with clarity and a sympathetic voice that brings these figures and their struggles to life. VERDICT A must-read for anyone interested in American and women's history, as well as topics of law, health, and industrial safety.--Chad E. Statler, Lakeland Comm. Coll., Kirtland, OH

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist-STARRED review "This timely book celebrates the strength of a group of women, whose determination to fight improved both labor laws and scientific knowledge of radium poisoning. Written in a highly readable, narrative style, Moore's chronicle of these inspirational women's lives is sure to provoke discussion-and outrage-in book groups."
  • STARRED Library Journal "Moore's well-researched narrative is written with clarity and a sympathetic voice that brings these figures and their struggles to life...a must-read for anyone interested in American and women's history, as well as topics of law, health, and industrial safety."
  • Publishers Weekly "Carefully researched, the work will stun readers with its descriptions of the glittering artisans who, oblivious to health dangers, twirled camel-hair brushes to fine points using their mouths, a technique called lip-pointing...Moore details what was a 'ground-breaking, law-changing, and life-saving accomplishment' for worker's rights."
  • Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life and Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast "Like Da a Sobel's The Glass Universe and Margot Lee Shetterly's Hidden Figures, Kate Moore's The Radium Girls tells the story of a cohort of women who made history by entering the workforce at the dawn of a new scientific era.  But the young women—many of them just teenagers—who learned the skill of painting glow-in-the-dark numbers on clock faces and aeronautical gauges early in the twentieth century paid a stiff price for their part in this breakthrough involving the deadly element, radium.  Moore sheds new light on a dark chapter in American labor history; the "Radium Girls," martyrs to an unholy alliance of commerce and science, live again in her telling"
  • Nathalia Holt, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us From Missiles to the Moon to Mars "Kate Moore vividly depicts the female factory workers whose courage led to a revolution in industrial safety standards. In describing their heart wrenching struggles and bittersweet triumphs, Moore delivers an intimate portrait of these pioneers. Uplifting and beautifully written, The Radium Girls is a tribute to the strength of women everywhere."
  • Rinker Buck, author of The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey and Flight of Passage "Kate Moore's gripping narrative about the betrayal of the radium girls-gracefully told and exhaustively researched-makes this a nonfiction classic. I particularly admire Moore's compassion for her subjects and her story-telling prowess, which brings alive a shameful era in America's industrial history."
  • Sunday Times "...[A] fascinating social history – one that significantly reflects on the class and gender of those involved – [is] Catherine Cookson meets Mad Men...The importance of the brave and blighted dial-painters cannot be overstated."
  • Mail on Sunday "In this thrilling and carefully crafted book, Kate Moore tells the shocking story of how early 20th-century corporate and legal America set about silencing dozens of working-class women who had been systematically poisoned...

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