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Full Body BurdenThis is part memoir of growing up in Boulder, Colorado and an astonishing tale of the US Nuclear facility, Rocky Flats which is also situated in the author home town. Rocky Flats is a secret nuclear weapons plant once designated “the most contaminated site in America.” Iversen tells the story of a childhood and adolescence in the shadow of the Cold War, in a landscape at once startlingly beautiful and–unknown to those who lived there–tainted with invisible yet deadly particles of plutonium.
This is also a story of secrets, in her family and from the local and central governments and these are set against a background of an ordinary girl, growing up on what the face of it seems like an ordinary world.
The story seemed so unbelievable to me that I had to Google it to understand the backstory as I really could not believe that this type of cover up happened in the 70’s & 80’s US. The author pulls on official documents from the FBI, Federal Government and Dow Chemical records to pen a very readable and somewhat frightening memoir.
It makes you consider the news in 2013 when you hear stories of activists and journalist working hard to uncover secrets and stories that the public should not know anything about.
Sheila O’Reilly
Vintage/£8.99/9780099571858

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