The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women
Author Kate Moore, on her book, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women, which uncovers the incredible story of the women who, after being exposed to radium and suffering terrible and deadly illness from radium poisoning, fought for safer work places and workers’ rights.
In the dark years of the First World War, 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. 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. And, until they begin to come forward.
As the women start to speak out on the corruption, the factories that once offered golden opportunities ignore all claims of the gruesome side effects. 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. A timely story of corporate greed and the brave figures that stood up to fight for their lives, these women and their voices will shine for years to come.
[Recorded on December 16, 2021.]
History Camp Authors
America's Summer Roadtrip 2020
Kate Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Radium Girls, which won the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Best History, was voted U.S. librarians’ favourite nonfiction book of 2017, and was named a Notable Nonfiction Book of 2018 by the American Library Association. Her latest book is The Woman They Could Not Silence, the true story of a nineteenth-century housewife who was committed to an insane asylum for daring to defy her husband. TWTCNS is a LibraryReads and Indie Next pick and was named a Hottest New Book of the Summer by Goodreads. A British writer based in London, Kate writes across a variety of genres and has had multiple titles on the Sunday Times bestseller list. Visit her at kate-moore.com.