The Radium Girls - Kate Moore

The Radium Girls

By Kate Moore

  • Release Date: 2017-04-18
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 325 Ratings


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

For fans of Hidden Figures, comes the incredible true story of the women heroes who were exposed to radium in factories across the U.S. in the early 20th century, and their brave and groundbreaking battle to strengthen workers' rights, even as the fatal poison claimed their own lives…

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.

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...


  • A story that must be told and be heard

    By SnottyDotty
    The mother of a friend of mine was a dial painter during WWII. She died young of cancer. When I found it, I had to read this book. It’s so important on so many levels. Women, social structures, war and industrial efforts, and especially the lives of every day working women who went before me. My only disappointment is that there was no mention of dial painting happening again in WWII.
  • Tragic, but beautifully written

    By Xandrazoo
    I had heard about the radium girls before in passing, but was shocked to discover how much there was to the story. This book was incredibly sympathetic and well researched. This is not a “feel good” story, but it achieves a noble goal by setting the evils of the past right one reader at a time.
  • What an incredible group of courageous women

    By Supertwinsmom
    So glad this is coming to light and people can read what these women had to endure. Really shows why we need workplace protection.
  • Couldn't put this book down.

    By Yer mum aka Lord spinach pepe
    I've recommended this book to my whole family, my best friends, everyone I know. All I can say is... holy sh*t.
  • Amazing book

    By Am book reader
    It’s inconceivable that something like this could occur even a century ago. The company knew radium was maiming and killing these women but hid the reports so they could get richer on the suffering, financial ruin and agonizing deaths of it’s workers. You get to know these girls, some as young as 13. An amazing and must read book. Highly recommend.
  • Read it.

    By momerlyn
    I was horror stricken from almost the first page. The description of radium as "life-saving," the explanations of how rich people (for only they could afford it) would drink it for their health, the visuals drawn of the work room where the girls worked, with radium drifting through the air, "settling on their shoulders," making them gleam as they walked home in the dark, and then the actual description of their work...putting the brushes, as they were instructed, in their mouths. I could not help but remember when my elementary school teacher read portions of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"out loud to our class, and how horrified we were then. This was so much worse. Even more so, since I know we owned a couple of the clocks these girls had worked on...the Baby Bens that took their lives. Read it. If only to remember them, and never let corporations get away with this kind of intentional murder again.
  • What a scary read

    By *Shazam666*
    One of the most disturbing books to read on dip, lip, and paint, to put radium on the watch dials to glow at night, and no wonder these women died such gruesome and hideous deaths!! And what their families had to endure in trying to get help and sue for medical bills and pay for funerals. A must read!!
  • Speechless

    By Castletoe
    Wow. Wow. Wow. I am not one to read about non-fiction things like this, but I could not put this book down. The way this book is written is insanely captivating. I experienced so many emotions while reading, it left me speechless, I was horrified, sickened, angered, saddened, and more. Anger. I even cried at some points. This is a story worth hearing, reading, knowing. READ THIS BOOK.
  • Radium Girls

    By slcspnc
    One of the best books I’ve read in a long time.