The first two books today were recommendations while I attended Southern Connecticut State University. I minored in History while attending SCSU. Admiral… was recommended by my World History professor because as we developed a friendship outside of school he began to understand how interested I really was in history
My Connecticut History Professor, Dr Jon Purmont discussed Waterbury and watchmakers in one of my class session in Connecticut History and he referred to Radium Girls while discussing the subject. I found it fascinating enough to locate the book on my own to read.
Admiral of the Ocean Sea:
A Life of Christopher Columbus
Samuel Eliot Morison
Perhaps the quintessential biography of Christopher Columbus, Samuel Morison’s style is academic but still very entertaining, not an easy task to pull off. Don’t give up on this amazing biography should you feel drowned in academia. The book kept me enthralled throughout which can be a challenge with some academic books. I highly recommend sticking with it. You will be happy you did so.
Radium Girls tells the terrifying story of young girls in Waterbury Connecticut primarily and how they were enlisted to use radium on watch faces to create glow in the dark dials. The effects this caused to the young women were debilitating illness, loss of teeth due to the women licking the paintbrushes they used to apply the radium, mouth cancer due to the same reason and eventual premature death.
A fascinating book about the early struggles of workplace reform. This may have been the first example of the challenge to reform health in workplace in Connecticut. It’s one of the reasons I found this book so enthralling.
The Secret Man
The Secret man is a bit lighter than the previous two books I discussed here today. Bob Woodward of All The President’s Men fame finally comes clean with the identity of Deep Throat, (the confidential informant that helped bring down the Nixon Presidency.) There were rumors swirling around who Deep Throat really was for years and I’d heard on several occasions that it became somewhat common knowledge within certain circles that the identity of Deep Throat was Mark Felt. An engaging book, part reminiscence, part historical record, a fun little book to read.
Until next time…
Turn the page.