The young ladies with the glamorous opportunity to paint the first luminous watch dials and navigational instruments come to life as Kate Moore takes you through America’s love affair with radium. “The Radium Girls” is so much more than a sordid tale of corporate greed. It is a celebration of the lives and spirits of the ladies who lived each day to its fullest despite being charter members of the “Society of the Living Dead.” Kate Moore’s work is laudable in that she brings the human dimension to the forefront while uniting the social, economic, scientific, medical and legal facets of the story. This book is well-rounded and thoroughly researched. It is inspiring, heart wrenching, infuriating and timely. Mollie, Grace, Catherine and their comrades would be proud. These women have finally had their stories told in a way that allows us to understand their roles and sacrifices in improving industrial health and safety, workers’ rights, labor laws and medicine. The final line of the postscript continues to haunt me: “How quickly we forget.”
Three words that describe this book: well-researched, visceral, captivating
You might want to pick this book up if: you are interested in early 20th century history, environmental/industrial health or you want to know a little bit more about that antique, glowing watch in your family.