Full Body Burden

Full Body Burden : Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats

3.99 (2,487 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Full Body Burden" is Kristen Iversen's story of growing up in a small Colorado town close to Rocky Flats, a secret nuclear weapons plant. It's also a book about the destructive power of secrets--both family secrets and government secrets. Her father's hidden liquor bottles, the strange cancers in children in the neighborhood, the truth about what they made at Rocky Flats--best not to inquire too deeply into any of it. But as Iversen grew older, she began to ask questions and discovered some disturbing realities.
As this memoir unfolds, it reveals itself as a brilliant work of investigative journalism--a shocking account of the government's sustained attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic and radioactive waste released by Rocky Flats, and of local residents' vain attempts to seek justice in court. Based on extensive interviews, FBI and EPA documents, and class-action testimony, this taut, beautifully written book promises to have a very long half-life.
Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader's guide and bonus content
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 130 x 202 x 24mm | 320g
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0307955656
  • 9780307955654
  • 1,146,531

Review quote

""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 Iverson 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."
--Rebecca Skloot, author of "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
"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 want the movie rights. Having read scores of nuclear books, I venture a large claim: Kristin Iversen's "Full Body Burden" may be a classic of nuclear literature, filling a gap we didn't know existed among Hersey's "Hiroshima," Burdick and Wheeler's "Fail-Safe" and Kohn's "Who Killed Karen Silkwood?""
--Mark Hertsgaard, author of "Nuclear Inc." and "HOT"
"This terrifyingly brilliant book--as perfectly crafted and meticulously assembled as the nuclear bomb triggers that lie at its core--is a savage indictment of the American strategic weapons industry, both haunting in its power, and yet wonderfully, charmingly human as a memoir of growing up in the Atomic Age."
--Simon Winchester, author of "The Professor and the Madman" and "Atlantic"
"Why didn't Poe or Hitchcock think of this? "Full Body Burden" has all the elements of a classic horror tale: the charming nuclear family cruising innocently above the undercurrents of nuclear nightmare. But it's true and all the m
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About Kristen Iversen

KRISTEN IVERSEN grew up in Arvada, Colorado, near the Rocky Flats nuclear weaponry facility. She is director of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Memphis. Visit her website at KristenIversen.com.
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Rating details

2,487 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 31% (778)
4 43% (1,057)
3 21% (531)
2 4% (97)
1 1% (24)
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