From the list on conditions which people say don’t exist but do.
Who am I?
I used to be part of the establishment, working in Whitehall for the UK government. Then I became the ultimate outsider, with light sensitivity so extreme that many people dismissed it as “all in my head.” Years on, turns out I've had a physical illness all along – but one only recently recognised. Now I know what I’m dealing with (Mast Cell Activation Syndrome), I’m much better. My journey’s made me fascinated by the way establishments of all kinds – corporate, political, scientific – react to new uncomfortable truths, and how often they’ll opt for gaslighting and "psychological" labels to keep those truths at bay.
Anna's book list on conditions which people say don’t exist but do
Discover why each book is one of Anna's favorite books.
Why did Anna love this book?
In the 1910s and 20s in the USA, young women were employed to illuminate the numbers on dials with radium paint. In the years that followed the women began to suffer mysterious agonising illnesses as their jaws rotted and their spines collapsed. So far so tragic – but what I found totally devastating and gripping were the monumental battles that followed as the companies and their paid doctors and scientists fought to deny what was happening to protect their profits. And I was absolutely inspired by the courage of the women who kept fighting for the truth even as one by one they died. What so shocks me is all the moves in the “corporate denial” playbook feel so modern – because hey, they’re still in use today.
The Radium Girls
Why should I read it?
3 authors picked The Radium Girls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf book club choice
New York Times bestseller
'Fascinating.' Sunday Times
'Thrilling.' Mail on Sunday
All they wanted was the chance to shine.
Be careful what you wish for...
'The first thing we asked was, "Does this stuff hurt you?" And they said, "No." The company said that it wasn't dangerous, that we didn't need to be afraid.'
As the First World War spread across the world, young American women flocked to work in factories, painting clocks, watches and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and…