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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:
Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Created: 08/06/18

Replies: 30

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)


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

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 185

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

In the past I only vaguely remembered hearing about the Radium Girls, but really didn't know the intimate details of their life. I really liked how Kate Moore wrote the Radium Girl's story from their point of view. I could feel their anger and suffering as if I knew them personally. What brave women they were! I would highly recommend this book for any women's group and for the men who love them. I would also recommend going to PBS.org and looking up the Chicago Tonight interview with Kate Moore. The clip is dated 5/11/2017. It does give away some of the book's ending, so I would caution to watch only after reading the book.


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

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 48

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I enjoyed Radium Girls a lot. I was a little worried that it might read like a textbook with lots of scientific jargon, but it read more like a thriller. It's fast-paced and truly interesting.


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

Join Date: 02/07/18

Posts: 8

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

This was a very good book to read and to think about. The women were very brave and strong and sad and tragic. I live not far from this actual place and a friend owned half of the old building for her electronics firm. The EPA caused her to close up as the site was still being detoxed in 1983. A great deal of research had to have gone into writing this and this author makes it a page turning read.


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

Join Date: 08/06/18

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I loved the book. It really helped me understand a point in history I had really never heard about before. It was of one historical tales of beginning to understand occupational hazards and the protection of employees for which we still fight for today. it was also important for women. this showed that women had a right to stand up for themselves and others in places where there were injustices.


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

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 118

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Agonizing, sad, uplifting, frustrating, enraging. I wrote a review for BookBrowse, too hard to write it all over again. I've researched how to watch Radium City and hope to do so.
Thank you for the PBS reference to Kate Moore's interview. Will pursue that as well.

Was your friend's electronics firm in Orange or Ottawa, evelyng? I looked Ottawa up on the map--I 80 goes almost through it. I don't know if I want to expose myself to its radiation to explore it. My husband and I did go to the sites in Oklahoma written about in Killers of the Flower Moon--another true and horrifying story, driven by greed


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

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 363

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I am very happy that I received the ARC for this book. As others mentioned, I had some concerns that it might be too much like a history textbook, but it wasn't at all. I think it is excellent, and American history teachers would find this a good way to bring history to life by discussing chapters of this books.


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

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 118

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Rebeccar, I think it should be taught at the college level also to business majors. I'd love to be a fly on the wall to hear and see the next generation of corporate workers' comments and reactions.


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

Join Date: 02/10/16

Posts: 14

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

At first I had a hard time keeping track of the women discussed. It felt as though there were too many cases included. But as I kept going, it was easier to follow their individual stories - and to appreciate the attention given to each heartbreaking story.


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

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 223

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

While The Radium Girls contains both a significant medical mystery and a major courtroom drama, the real strength of the book is the collection of human stories it tells. Moore covers the story of the women who painted the glowing numbers on the faces of watches and clocks during the WWI and WWII eras. They used small bristle brushes which they "pointed" by wetting them in their mouths and them dipped in radium-laced paint -- and then repeated the process, ingesting the paint. They sat at desks covered with radium-laced dust, wore smocks covered with the same that got cleaned in the family wash -- and many of them got sick, losing teeth, developing horrible bone pain and tumors. The companies for whom they worked insisted that the radium was safe to work with and refused to help. The book tells the story of the effort to define the source of their trouble and to hold the companies responsible (in spite of valiant company efforts to deny all culpability and provide no assistance). Moore tells the story through the voices of the women affected, and it is quite moving. The suffering these women endured, the fight in which they were willing to engage to obtain justice, and the heartlessness of their employers is astounding. Not surprisingly, their experience has significantly affected our current laws regarding workplace safety and worker's compensation.


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

Join Date: 07/31/17

Posts: 18

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

What an eye opener, beautifully written, shocking yet very heart warming. I so wanted to reach out to help these families. A must read book for young ladies entering the business world. Thank you Kate Moore for an awesome book!


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

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 62

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Having never heard about this issue, I was horrified. Kate Moore did a wonderful job of telling their story. I felt so sorry for those women and was so angry at the Radium Dial company. Because the story was so intense, I had to put the book down and read something light before going back to it. This is a book that everyone should read.


Posted Aug. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
colleenf

Join Date: 08/07/18

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I feel like this is the best book I have read so far this year. This book made me feel like I knew these women personal. If this book doesn't move you something is wrong.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

This was a fantastic book! It was a very sad part of history, but it presented truthfully and with compassion. I felt that I knew those young women. Congratulations Kate Moore on this well-written book.


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

Join Date: 06/25/11

Posts: 17

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I didn't know anything about this story before reading this book. It was a sad and sometimes difficult story to read, but read like a page turner. My hope is that more people will read this book and learn of the Radium Girls' valiant fight for justice.


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

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 72

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I thought this was a very important book which told the story of the battle for workers rights that continues today. Although it was difficult, I was glad to have read it while feeling compassion and horror for the women.


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: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I knew nothing about these women so it was a fascinating view of science and the rights of workers , especially women. Like a writer above however, I had to take a break from it and read something lighter.


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

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

What an eye-opener and a subject I knew nothing about. The story was a little too text book for me but I did learn a piece of history that was new to me. I read a lot of historical fiction but unfortunately this book didn’t make it into my favorites list. I appreciate so much the opportunity to review an ARC and I always give my honest opinion.


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

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 49

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I absolutely loved this book, especially the amount of research Kate Moore must have done to write it. It’s made me sad, and angry, crushed, and astonished, and I loved it- I’ve recommended it to so many friends. It made me start to question new things I’m using, new technologies, or start to look at things in different ways: these women and the general public were repeatedly assured that radium was safe, even beneficial. It was hard to read about how cavalier and casual they were while working with a radioactive substance with today’s knowledge! Still...what things might we be using now that are allegedly safe, yet may hold unknown danger?


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

Join Date: 03/02/17

Posts: 10

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

When I first began to read this book, I felt I could not read it. Too sad. In the end, I'm very glad that I did read this book. These women went through so much just to have "good" jobs. They were so proud of their work but were left unprotected by their company and the government. I was not familiar with the topic of radium so I learned so much history in reading the book. I have recommended the book to others but with caution.


Posted Aug. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BetsyBookWorm

Join Date: 05/20/17

Posts: 7

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I found this book very difficult to read. It is such an awful example of corporate callousness and failure of humans within corporations to respond like humans when profits are in question. If our country and the world had learned from this awful example so that corporate practices no longer endanger public health, it would be okay, but that's not the case. Companies continuously press for less constraints, and many powerful people believe that profits should drive policy. Regulations intended to guard public safety and the environment are being actively rolled back. I'm afraid that our society hasn't learned that much from this tragic story.


Posted Aug. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 72

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

As difficult as this subject is to read about, I thought it was so well written and I am better for having read it.


Posted Aug. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
debbieb

Join Date: 08/16/18

Posts: 1

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

i liked this book okay but it wasn't one of my favorites.


Posted Aug. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 97

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

This was one of my favorite books last year. Even though it was full of facts it read like a storybook. With each new girls' story I was more amazed and more distressed, at the same time.


Posted Aug. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 18

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I loved this book! Enlightenment on a grand scale. Unknown history that needs to be exposed.


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

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 277

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Radium Girls is an excellent book and I have recommended it to my book group. Some of the pictures were difficult to look at but I wanted to see them. I went through so many emotions as I read through the pages but it was worth it.


Posted Aug. 21, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jkhunter349

Join Date: 10/03/17

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I was shocked to find out all of this took place only a few miles from my current home. It's a moving piece, although it was hard to follow so many of the girls' lives at once. Even though I know the point is to show how many girls were affected, I'd like to know each story a bit more intimately.


Posted Aug. 21, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 330

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RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I loved this book. It was well written, informative and in many ways very enlightening. I have recommended it to at least 5 people. I think it is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.


Posted Aug. 22, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
betht

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 13

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

I loved it! Nonfiction that reads like fiction is one of my favorite genres, and this one does not disappoint. You learn something about the history of our country, about women's history, about science, all the while feeling as if you're reading a mystery. Very well done!


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

Join Date: 08/02/18

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Great book! Truly moving story of a moment in history that, I feel, has largely been forgotten in this country. Seeing loved ones who have died from more traditional cancers, I can't imagine the horror that the stricken and their families experienced during this ordeal. This book comes close to bringing that horror to life through the personal stories. The level of strength many of these women possessed in the face of terminal disease and corporate power was awe inspiring.


Posted Sep. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianet

Join Date: 08/13/18

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what did you think of Radium Girls? (no spoilers in this thread please)

Like "We Band of Angels",Radium Girls gives the reader an insight of the times and the historical significance of the subject. Unless you are a historian of WWII with a bend on little-known issues that were going on "at home to help the boys overseas", I know I had no knowledge of the part that radium had on watches, let alone what impact it had on the men and women - mostly women - state-side. It is a part of history that is not well-known and one, that in many ways, still haunts us. It is a book that should be required reading in high school as an added understanding of what people did to help the cause and what it cost them in the end.


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