Title: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
Author: Kate Moore
Pub: May 2017
Genre: Non fiction, History
I received an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Incredible. In so many shapes and forms. The Radium Girls is a very true story of the resilience, tenacity, and perseverance of the women (and their families) who faced insurmountable odds, defeats, and ill-treatment for the sake of profits.
If there’s one book you’ll read this year (non fiction or otherwise) make it this one. The Radium Girls is downright fascinating as much as it is informative and frustrating.
With insightful interviews and thorough well-done historical research and documentation, Kate Moore has brought this social and labor history to light. It follows two groups of women in New Jersey and Illinois. Young women, independent, and attracted to the well-paid jobs as dial-painters. Assured countless times that the luminous, radium filled, paint was safe, the women worked, laughed, and enjoyed their lives. That is, until they began to fall apart.
Instructed to lip-point their brushed, these women began to showcase the ill and unfortunate effects of direct exposure to radium, a radioactive and destructive element.
Moore’s writing is compelling and slowly guides the reader into the lives and many difficulties these women faced. There were so many hurdles and setbacks these women faced, it was frustrating and heartbreaking to rad at times.
In the end, despite the difficulties I came out feeling inspired and proud of these women, who trusted themselves, knew something was wrong, and demanded change. They made America better for it and I can’t be thankful enough.
Thank you, Kate Moore, for writing such a compelling historical narrative. And thank you, Catherine, Grace, Marguerite, and the countless women and young women, the radium girls, for persisting.
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