In the early 1950s, men from the government decide to build a secret nuclear weapons facility at Rocky Flats. Its job will be to refine plutonium and mould it into the triggers at the heart of every one of the country's nuclear weapons. Decades later, it will be branded 'the most contaminated site in America'. A few miles down the road, Kristen Iversen is enjoying a carefree, outdoor childhood in a sublime setting of desert and mountains. She and her siblings jump streams, ride horses, live a happy outdoors life. But beneath this veneer the family is quietly falling apart. Her father drinks, her mother copes. And in a series of fires, accidents and other catastrophic leaks, Rocky Flats is spewing an invisible cocktail of the most dangerous substances on earth into this pristine landscape. The ground, the air and the water are all alive with radiation. The years that follow will bring protests, investigations, denials, cover-ups, threats and lies. And then, one after another, people start to fall ill. Full Body Burden is a brilliant work of investigative journalism and a searing memoir. It is a book about secrets: the small ones families hide from each other and the even more dangerous ones governments hide from us.
Full Product DetailsAuthor: Kristen Iversen
Imprint: Harvill Secker
Dimensions: Width: 15.30cm , Height: 2.90cm , Length: 23.40cm
ISBN 10: 1846556147
Publication Date: 05 July 2012
Audience: General/trade , General
Publisher's Status: Active
Availability: To order
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Table of Contents
Gripping...exquisitely researched...A superbly crafted tale of Cold War America's dark underside. <br>-- Kirkus Reviews (starred)<br> <br> In this powerful work of research and personal testimony, Iversen chronicles the story of America's willfully blinkered relationship to the nuclear weapons industry through the haunting experience of her own family in Colorado...The grief was ongoing, as Iversen renders in her masterly use of the present tense, conveying tremendous suspense and impressive control of her material. <br>-- Publishers Weekly (starred) <br> Iversen seems to have been destined to write this shocking and infuriating story of a glorious land and a trusting citizenry poisoned by Cold War militarism and 'hot' contamination, secrets and lies, greed and denial....News stories come and go. It takes a book of this exceptional caliber to focus our attention and marshal our collective commitment to preventing future nuclear horrors. <br>-- Booklist (starred) <br> Full Body Burden is one of the most important stories of the nuclear era--as personal and powerful as Silkwood, told with the suspense and narrative drive of The Hot Zone. With unflinching honesty, Kristen Iversen has written an intimate and deeply human memoir that shows why we should all be concerned about nuclear safety, and the dangers of ignoring science in the name of national security. Rocky Flats needs to be part of the same nuclear discussion as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. So does Full Body Burden. It's an essential and unforgettable book that should be talked about in schools and book clubs, online and in the White House. <br>--Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks <br> What a surprise! You don't expect such (unobtrusively) beautiful writing in a book about nuclear weapons, nor such captivating storytelling. Plus the facts are solid and the science told in colloquial but never dumbed-down terms. If I could afford them, I'd wantn
Kristen Iversen teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis, where she lives with her two sons.
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