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The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War

by Welsome, Eileen

  • ISBN: 9780385314022
  • ISBN10: 0385314027

The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War

by Welsome, Eileen

  • List Price: $26.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Dial Press
  • Publish date: 02/01/2006
  • ISBN: 9780385314022
  • ISBN10: 0385314027
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Description: Fearful that the new radioactive materials that were being produced for the first atomic bombs might cause a cancer epidemic among workers, scientists at Los Alamos authorized the injection of plutonium into unsuspecting patients throughout the country. Those patients would be known by code number only -- until a young journalist from the Albuquerque Journal stumbled across the codes for 18 of them while researching another piece entirely. Thus began Eileen Welsome's decade-long journalistic investigation into this cold-war crime that led, finally, to the Clinton Administration declassifying millions of documents, the establishment of a government advisory committee, and the payment of millions of dollars of reparations to the families of the victims.

Here, for the first time, are portraits of the scientists who performed the experiments, their backgrounds, and their web of connections pre and postwar. Here also are portraits of the many patients themselves, primarily sick, poor, and disabled. Most died without ever giving consent or knowing what had been done to them.

Powered by her fierce reportage, acute sense of moral responsibility, and singular narrative gifts, Eileen Welsome has created the definitive work about one of the most disturbing and poignant episodes in our history.

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