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No.
22


 
Informative,
Interesting,
Inspiring

7 reviews

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
by Kate Moore

Published: 2017-04-18
Hardcover : 496 pages
18 members reading this now
143 clubs reading this now
6 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 7 of 7 members

A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts 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 ...

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Introduction

A New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon Charts 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.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

Editorial Review

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Excerpt

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Discussion Questions

1. The Radium Girls is filled with both triumph and tragedy. Which part of the story affected you the most, and why?

2. Is there a person in The Radium Girls that resonates more strongly with you than others? If so, what part of their story or character stands out?

3. Even after radium was proved poisonous and the girls’ illness verified as work-related, the radium companies stood fast by their convictions. Why do you believe they were so resilient? Can you imagine modern companies behaving with similar ruthlessness?
4. How do you believe the radium companies—and the press—would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? Considering the time period, how did the women’s gender help and hinder their case?

5. How do you think today’s world would be different had The Radium Girls not fought back against the radium companies?

6. It takes more than 1,500 years for the effects of radium to wear off. This means that the bodies of the women and parts of the towns in which they worked remain poisonous to this day. Considering the harrowing implications, why do you feel this story hasn’t been widely explored?

7. The Radium Girls is told mostly through the eyes of the radium-dial workers, their families, and friends; however, 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?

8. Is there another historical event where you’ve noticed women being pushed to the sidelines?

9. Although radium can be seen as an evil entity in the book, it’s also been used for the greater good. Explore how radium has changed the world in a positive way. Do you feel it was worth the sacrifice?

10. Besides radium, what other world-altering discoveries can you think of that led to both advancement and tragedy?

11. How were you inspired by the strength of the “shining girls,” and how can you carry that onward to incite change in your own life?

Suggested by Members

How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? Considering the time period, how did their gender help and hinder their case?
Besides radium, what other world-altering discoveries can you think of that both led to advancement, and also tragedy?
by JillianPhoenix (see profile) 11/05/18

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by hmhanger (see profile) 11/16/19

 
  "Tough subject"by [email protected] (see profile) 11/10/19

Radium Girls made me so angry! While it is not the most well written book, it did tell the vivid story of ordinary people being harmed and disregarded by those who hold power over them. In the end, the... (read more)

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