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June Book Review

 

The Radium Girls

        By Kate Moore

Review by: Ronya
Kate Moore has researched and crafted a highly readable yet shocking narrative about the women recruited in 1920s New Jersey and Illinois to paint watches and clockfaces with "Undark," a.k.a. radium, and the effects they suffered as a result. Radium, considered harmless and extolled for its life-giving virtues, was used everywhere--in cosmetics, cold medicines, toothpastes, chocolates, and "healthful" drinks. Moore documents the women's illnesses, the helplessness of their doctors, and their tenacious, years-long struggle to document the ill effects of radium, overturn popular thought about workplace practices from the factory floor to the U.S. Department of Labor, and legally hold their companies accountable in court. Moore's book is sure to provoke conversation, as it is just as relevant today as in the 1920s.


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