The Radium Girls: They paid with their lives. Their final fight was for justice. (Hardback)Kate Moore (author)
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'A perfect blend of the historical, the scientific and the personal.' Bustle
'Thrilling and carefully crafted.' Mail on Sunday
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Drawing on previously unpublished sources - including diaries, letters and court transcripts, as well as original interviews with the women's relatives - The Radium Girls is an intimate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.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Number of pages: 480
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'This 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.' * Sunday Times *
'Thrilling and carefully crafted.' * Mail on Sunday *
'Heartfelt.' * Sunday Telegraph *
'Kate Moore . . . writes with a sense of drama that carries one through the serpentine twists and turns of this tragic but ultimately uplifting story.' * The Spectator *
'Fascinating yet tragic.' * The Sun *
'Heartbreaking . . . what this book illustrates brilliantly is that battling for justice against big corporations isn't easy.' * BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour *
'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. The Radium Girls makes it impossible for you to ignore these women's incredible stories, and proves why now, more than ever, we can't afford to ignore science, either.' * Bustle *
'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.' * Publishers Weekly *
'Moore's harrowing but humane story describes the struggle of a few brave women who took their case to court in a fight for justice that is still resonant today.' * Saga *
'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 . . . Moore sheds new light on a dark chapter in American labour history; the radium girls . . . live again in her telling.' -- Megan Marshall, Pulitzer Prize-winning author
'Kate Moore's gripping narrative about the betrayal of the radium girls - gracefully told and exhaustively researched - makes this a non-fiction classic. Moore's compassion for her subjects and her story-telling prowess . . . bring alive a shameful era in America's industrial history.' -- Rinker Buck, author of The Oregon Trail
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Times have changed, and with them our understanding of toxicity. In the 1920’s “on sale were radium jockstraps and lingerie, radium butter, radium milk, radium toothpaste (guaranteeing a brighter smile with every... More
“A horrific and tragic tale told with sensitivity and compassion”
The story of the Radium Girls is not an easy one to tell. It's far enough in the past that we can remark on the follies of a lack of scientific knowledge. It occurred at the same time that thousands of young men... More
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