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The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Paperback)
From the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire to the conditions described in Sinclair's The Jungle, historically we have seen a constant struggle between industry and safe working conditions, usually at the cost of human lives. Born in the late 20th century with labor laws and OSHA, it was only through this well-researched study into the lives of the "shining girls" from the radium-dial factories did I realize just how woefully uninformed I was. Moore provides a haunting narrative into the lives of these young women, combining a riveting account with compassion and respect. She not only acknowledges their strengths, but also their lasting impact resulting from the "Radium Girls" case, still felt even to this day.— From Caitlin
May 2017 Indie Next List
“The harrowing true story of The Radium Girls is a compelling and forthright portrayal of a dark, insidious mystery and the 'shining girls' who revealed it. Author Kate Moore takes the reader from Orange, New Jersey, to Ottawa, Illinois, following several women who work at factories that specialize in painting watch faces and instrument dials with the glow-in-the-dark wonder element radium. As these women fall ill in various and dire ways in the ensuing years, they seek answers and relief from the very companies that would deny them. In The Radium Girls, Moore, like the 'shining girls' before her, casts a bright light on these lives lost too young.”
— Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi's Books, Rapid City, SD
Summer 2018 Reading Group Indie Next List
“This story of the first all-women class action lawsuit is one that everyone needs to read. Moore does a fabulous job of showing these women for who they were: real people, with families and lives that were torn apart by devastating health problems caused by years of working in a watch factory, painting glowing radium onto watch dials. A heartbreaking, inspiring story of strong women who stuck together through the most horrible of circumstances.”
— Maggie Henriksen, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI
A New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller
"the glowing ghosts of the radium girls haunt us still."--NPR Books
The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger
The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.
Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive -- until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.
But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.