The Radium Girls: They paid with their lives. Their final fight was for justice.

By Kate Moore
Read by Angela Brazil

15.63 Hours 10/06/2016 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781471162275

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Ordinary women in 1920s America. All they wanted was the chance to shine. Be careful what you wish for.  ‘The first thing we asked was, “Does this stuff hurt you?” And they said, “No.” The company said that it wasn’t dangerous, that we didn’t need to be afraid.’ 1917. As a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous – the girls themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in the dust from the paint. They were the radium girls.   As the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. The very thing that had made them feel alive – their work – was in fact slowly killing them: they had been poisoned by the radium paint. Yet their employers denied all responsibility. And so, in the face of unimaginable suffering – in the face of death – these courageous women refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead became determined to fight for justice. Drawing on previously unpublished sources – including diaries, letters and court transcripts, as well as original interviews with the women’s relatives  – The Radium Girls is an intimate narrative account of an unforgettable true story. It is the powerful tale of a group of ordinary women from the Roaring Twenties, who themselves learned how to roar.

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Summary

Summary

Ordinary women in 1920s America.

All they wanted was the chance to shine.

Be careful what you wish for.
 
‘The first thing we asked was, “Does this stuff hurt you?” And they said, “No.” The company said that it wasn’t dangerous, that we didn’t need to be afraid.’

1917. As a war raged across the world, young American women flocked to work, painting watches, clocks and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous – the girls themselves shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in the dust from the paint. They were the radium girls.
  As the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. The very thing that had made them feel alive – their work – was in fact slowly killing them: they had been poisoned by the radium paint. Yet their employers denied all responsibility. And so, in the face of unimaginable suffering – in the face of death – these courageous women refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead became determined to fight for justice.
Drawing on previously unpublished sources – including diaries, letters and court transcripts, as well as original interviews with the women’s relatives  – The Radium Girls is an intimate narrative account of an unforgettable true story. It is the powerful tale of a group of ordinary women from the Roaring Twenties, who themselves learned how to roar.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Kate Moore’s new book will move, shock and anger you" The Big Issue
"[A] fascinating social history—one that significantly reflects on the class and gender of those involved.” Sunday Times (London)
“A perfect blend of the historical, the scientific, and the personal, this richly detailed book sheds a whole new light on this unique element and the role it played in changing workers’ rights.” Bustle
“[A] tragic but ultimately uplifting story.” Spectator (London)
“The story of real women at the mercy of businesses who see them only as a potential risk to the bottom line is haunting precisely because of how little has changed.” NPR
“Their incredible story, beautifully told by Kate Moore, is sure to incite equal parts compassion and horror in the reader.” BookPage
“Moore’s well-researched narrative is written with clarity and a sympathetic voice that brings these figures and their struggles to life.” Library Journal (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.” Booklist (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Kate Moore

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 15.63
Audience: Adult
Language: English