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.
|Wow, wow, wow. This story is powerful! Fate brought Kate Moore to this story and thank goodness it did because she has done a great service to woman's history by bringing this story back into the light. This was not a story I was familiar with at all - not even in my periphery - and so with each page, I became more and more incensed at the horrors these women suffered at the hands of ruthless, unfeeling businessmen and their corporations who couldn't be bothered to care about the health and safety of their female workers.|
The sheer amount of time Moore spent on this story shows - in her author's note she mentions coming to America to visit with the families of the radium girls and their grave sites, the countless hours of library research, reading everything she could of what the actual women themselves wrote. This book was amazingly researched and delves deeply into the history of the women's lives before and after, not just focusing on the court cases that made them famous. All the key figures are given their due time and it was fascinating to hear so many first-hand accounts of not just the families of these women, but the women themselves, remarking on what was happening to them and how the felt.
Needless to say, I would highly recommend this book to anyone. It's an important story in American history and these women did so much to secure workplace safeties that our modern world enjoys as well as offering themselves up to science for future studies done to better understand radioactive substances and what they can do to the human body.
Though this work is a piece of non-fiction, it's narrative quality makes it a real page-turning story that you only wish was fiction. The devastating illnesses these women suffered make you wish you could go back in time and warn them. This story truly moved me to tears.
I listened to the audiobook of this story, which was well read and I enjoyed listening to it.