Title: Radium Girls, The
Authors: Moore, Kate
Genre: Non Fiction
Pages: 466
Year: 2016
Language: English
Description: When Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium in 1898, it was promoted as a miraculous cure-all. For the young American women who worked with it as 'dial-painters' during WWI, it afforded them a glamorous and much-envied job, until it became apparent it was poisoning them. The battle they had on their hands was both for their own health and against the United States Radium Corporation, deniers of radium's risks and their responsibility to their employees.

Harrowing yet inspiring, this extensively-researched expose of courage and sacrifice versus corporate greed and dishonesty, delivers an engrossing story of a ground-breaking victory for workers' rights.
Categories: Non fiction, Biography, Environmental, Historical, Human Rights, Inspirational, Morals/Ethics, America, 2019 Titles


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By: CHCH 357 2020-09-10 14:37:20
This book resulted in a very lively discussion from our group. It is definitely a story that begged to be written and the topic resonates to this day. A tale of greed and abuse of power resulting in suffering, affecting the people of Ottawa for many years and possibly ongoing today. However, the narrative style was not consistent with a constant flip from fact to fiction that put a few of our group off.

By: CHCH 489 2020-06-07 12:40:01
Interesting historical topic, however our group found the writing style of this book very difficult. Over-inclusive of detail and a bit all over the place, we felt it read as though it had not been through an editing process.

By: CHCH 194 2020-05-25 16:00:55
Well written and informative. We admired the courage of the women, but were appalled by what they had to go through - to seek medical help - and then to seek compensation. A well researched account - but an easy style of writing portrayed the human elements well.

By: LOWER 006 2020-03-17 11:03:59
We all found it very interesting,though a tough read, generating a good discussion on the treatment of women generally and the indifference of corporations/big money to the reality of life for the ordinary person. Some of us found the way the author moved between the two groups of women confusing, and thought editing would have been helpful. Not an easy read but recommended.

By: AUCK 162 2019-11-13 13:52:01
Best summed up by the Governor of Illinois...."The radium girls battled a dishonest company, an indifferent industry, dismissive courts and the medical community". Only one of our group had heard of the dial painters previously. An important story with wide ranging consequences for workers' rights and safety. A distressing read.

By: TAUR 018 2019-11-13 13:46:24
We found it confronting and informative. It brought the women to life incredibly well; showed the amazing courage of the women and the scurrilous way the owners behaved. It brought out the loyalty of the women and how they banded together to support each other through the worst situations.

By: WAIKO 001 2019-11-13 13:43:43

By: CHCH 292 2019-10-22 14:47:41
Memorable, compelling and harrowing read. Historical, but the characters were 'real' and relatable. The unethical management of the situation, even given the historical context, is very disturbing. Would recommend.

By: WELL 215 2019-10-09 14:16:58
We all thoroughly enjoyed this book. Despite the somewhat gruesome (at times) story, it was a compelling and fascinating read. Highly recommend this book!

By: CULV 001 2019-08-23 14:13:13
We thought it was very well-written, and that she did a great job of portraying the personalities and the extent of suffering these women endured. It is a story that needed telling and is a must read. This has been our best book this year by far.

By: PUTAR 001 2019-06-07 12:26:25
Most were glad to have read and become aware of the story, but a horrible story.

By: THAM 005 2019-05-31 11:46:44
Harrowing is a good description of the story. None of us knew anything about this prior to reading the book and we all agreed it is a story worth reading but we were divided on the manner in which it was told. Most agreed it could have been better edited as it did become quite repetitive, especially in the middle of the book. Interminable was a word used by more than one member but others thoroughly enjoyed it. The subject generated much discussion, especially with regard to modern day parallels and the realisation we know so little about the possible future impact of products we use today.

The Book Discussion 
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