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The Radium Girls


The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger.
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Discuss The Radium Girls by Kate Moore:
How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

Created: 07/29/18

Replies: 17

Posted Jul. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

The Radium Girls is told mostly through the eyes of the radium-dial workers, their families, and friends. Previous research never focused on their personal journeys. How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 106

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

Kate Moore did a wonderful job of bringing these girls to life. I would have liked more information about their husbands, boyfriends and other family members. They were pushed aside to tell this story. And, I'm sorry, but the woman in me, just doesn't buy the idea that the women were pushed to the sidelines--not everything is feminist--plenty of men have been ignored in their workplaces and the conditions of them to allow companies and their owners and executives to get rich -- coal miners through the ages in the United States, Wales and England as well as oil rig workers in our own Gulf of Mexico in the present day. Greedy corporations and their owners don't much care about the sex of the workers they exploit--how about the migrant workers in the agricultural fields--as many men as women have been abused.


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 356

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

The smaller, personal details made this an interesting (albeit sad) book which I wanted to continue reading. Also, unlike many brief paragraphs in thick history textbooks, I will remember this story. As for historical events, I think the fact that we still -today - read news stories about someone being the first woman to do something is a sad commentary on inequalities in general.


Posted Aug. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 75

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

The personal details about the young women involved brought them to life. It brought home the point that these women were people, with real lives and families, and not simply a statistic. I think too often, when there are tragic events, we know only about the number of people involved, and nothing about them personally. Knowing about the personal lives of these women got me more involved in their story, and consequently, more horrified with what happened to them. The first thing that came to mind regarding the issue of other events that have happened where women were pushed to the sidelines, was at the end of WWII, when the men came home from war and the women who were in the workforce lost their jobs.


Posted Aug. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

Knowing the women's personal stories brought them to life and made the story more compelling. It made you really care about each individual as a person, and to care about what happened to them. I think women have usually been pushed to the sidelines in history, as the men had the power and were portrayed as more important.


Posted Aug. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LWReads

Join Date: 08/09/18

Posts: 3

RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

Some of the smaller personal details - e.g. how one of the women dressed - I found distracted me rather than engaging me. I was more engaged when we stayed with one woman's story for a longer time - like Catherine's story near the end. In that context, the details gave a fuller picture of Catherine's life and family. I would have liked the same treatment of some of the other women, although I realized that that level of detail may not have been available to the author.


Posted Aug. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elizabethh

Join Date: 06/25/11

Posts: 17

RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

It made them feel like real people rather than just statistics. Reading about the young Katherine Schaub at the beginning of the book, walking down the street with a spring in her step, and then following her life as she suffered from the effects of radium poisoning, personalized the story, as did the personal stories of the other women involved. Their personal stories made me care about what happened to them.


Posted Aug. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

I felt more intimate with the women whose day-to-day lives were explored while they were coming to grips with what was happening to them.


Posted Aug. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? ...

I liked the details of the women’s lives as well, as how their families dealt with it. This seems to be a current trend in literature as we find more about the role of women in science.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tigerlilly

Join Date: 08/11/18

Posts: 7

RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

I think there is very much a parallel from this story to the current #meToo movement. While the latter isn't as deadly as was the radium poisoning, it certainly has been career killing for some. Once again men in power used their means to control and overpower some women. What especially appalled me was after the settlement with the first 5 girls, the company set up circumstances to construct events that could help them get out of the payments. While we see other cases like this in the news it's so sad to see that corporations still try to hide the truth.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianet

Join Date: 08/13/18

Posts: 6

RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

Firstly, I did not know about this horrific part of the Depression and WWII. Then to prey on the women who were trying to help their families made this book even more heart wrenching. Anytime when we know about the background and life of the characters of a book, the story immediately becomes more personal to the reader. It draws you, the reader, into the story, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 49

RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

It definitely changed how this issue affected me by the inclusion of the personal stories bc without them, this would have remained only a vague “issue.” The personal stories so vividly painted the picture of what life must have been like for those suffering from radium poisoning- and their struggle for justice. The stories were so important bc otherwise I know that, for me, this story could have been read too generally, too broadly- the personal stories are now carved into my memory.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marthas

Join Date: 03/02/17

Posts: 10

RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

Knowing the girls names and personal history made me more interested in the story. I think the pages of pictures were important to see. The end of the book brought the family stories to a close.


Posted Aug. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mildas

Join Date: 05/11/16

Posts: 14

RE: Personal Stories

The personal stories of the women made them real and I could more readily identify with their painful situations. It brought a personal level of involvement to the reader.


Posted Aug. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 256

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

The personal tidbits about the women made them all the more real to me and made it harder for me to bear what was happening to them.


Posted Aug. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mildas

Join Date: 05/11/16

Posts: 14

RE: Personal Stories

The personal stories made me feel the reality of what they were going through. It made the book more meaningful to me.


Posted Aug. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

I liked hearing the personal stories of the women, which made them more alive. As I think I said in another answer we are seeing a number of books about the roles of women in modern history, from their work during wars and science.


Posted Sep. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertm

Join Date: 08/02/18

Posts: 4

RE: How did it change your appreciation of or engagement with the story to know the smaller, personal details of the girls' lives? Is there another historical event where you've noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

Of course, the personal stories brought us closer to the pain and suffering these women experienced, which was heart-wrenching. There are too many historical events where women are pushed to the sidelines, but the one I instantly think of, due to a lot of reading on the subject, is the American Civil War. Men may have fought that war, but women had to take care of the homes and children left behind, not to mention their invaluable assistance in fighting camp diseases and caring for the injured & dying. Also, women are not counted among the war dead, though women fought and suffered unexpected deaths due to fighting armies and the collateral damage they waged. One of my heroes of the war was 'Mother' Bickerdyke, who played a crucial part in maintaining the hospital system of the Union army. Sorry! I could go on all day...


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