Book Review: Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining WomenThe Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kate Moore’s monumental dedication in researching the lives of the radium dial painters makes this incredible book what it is. She writes their stories with sensitivity and fidelity, imbued always with the deep admiration that compelled her to take on the project of writing Radium Girls. Detailing the obscene negligence of the radium companies of the 1920s and the carnage that followed in its wake, this book is a battle cry from the past that’s long overdue. I was transfixed and educated in the process of reading–Moore leaves no small detail unturned. The dial painting women are resurrected in these pages, and the reader learns about their everyday moments and concerns as much as about the unbelievable physical torments that they underwent. “Lip, dip, paint” becomes a chilling refrain as Moore shines a harsh light on a moment in history that birthed many of the workers’ protections that our country now provides. This is a stunning piece of non-fiction that pays a loving tribute to its subjects, making them completely impossible to forget.

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