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Yellow Dirt: A Poisoned Land and the Betrayal of the Navajos Paperback – Bargain Price, July 5, 2011
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"Studded with vivid character sketches and evocative descriptions of the American landscape, Pasternak's scarifying account of uranium mining's disastrous consequences often reads like a novel...does justic to the ethical and historial ambiguities while crafting a narrative of exemplary clarity."--Los Angeles Times
"Chilling. Has the cumulative power of scrupulous truth-telling and the value of old-style investigative reportage."--Laura Miller, Salon
“This book is a masterwork. It is journalism at its very best—a story told fully and eloquently. A story that everyone should know.”
—Michael Connelly, author of Nine Dragons
“One of those stories that makes us believe all over again in journalism, in its power to bring truth to light.” —Harvard’s Nieman Narrative Digest
“This compelling and compassionate book could not be more timely. A gripping story of the betrayal of the Navajos, it comes at a time where once again the human costs of energy production are slighted and both the government and corporations ride roughshod over the least powerful.”
—Richard White, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Recipient of a Macarthur Fellowship, and Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University
"An astounding book. Judy Pasternak has dug deeply into the archives and into the ground itself to uncover the real story behind one of the darkest chapters of the Cold War on American soil. With her dogged pursuit of the facts and an elegant prose style, Pasternak elevates investigative journalism into the realm of literature." -- Tom Zoellner, author of Uranium: War, Energy and the Rock that Shaped the World
"Disturbing and illuminating. Pasternak evokes the magnitude of a nuclear disaster that continues to reverberate. Unfolds like true crime, where real-life heroes and villains play dynamic roles in a drama that escalates page by page. Eye-opening and riveting, "Yellow Dirt" gives a sobering glimpse into our atomic past and adds a critical voice to the debate about resurrecting America's nuclear industry."--The Washington Post
"A window into a dark chapter of modern history that still reverberates today.Transporting readers into a little-known country-within-a-country, award-winning journalist Judy Pasternak gives rare voice to Navajo perceptions of the world, their own complicated involvement with uranium mining, and their political coming-of-age. A work of the highest quality journalism, an exposÉ made possible by meticulous research... She has taken a large cast of characters, a bulging list of corporations and government agencies, and a scientific subject and managed to unite them in a story that the average reader can comprehend."--Stacy Rae Brownlie, BookBrowse
Top Customer Reviews
This occurred on the Navajo reservation that is located in Arizona and Utah. A great deal of the mining was in Monument Valley. The initial reason for extracting the Uranium was the real fear that the enemies of democracy, particularly Nazi Germany, would also start to process Uranium for the purposes of making a nuclear explosion. In the early 1940's little was known of the affects of radiation from exposure to Uranium. There was no effort to protect the Navajo workers. The debris from the mines was dumped pell-mell all over the reservation. Some of the debris was utilized to build homes on the reserve. The water sources were also becoming contaminated by the dynamiting at the mine sites.
After the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki the affects of radiation became very obvious. But on Navajo land nothing at all was done to protect the workers. With the advent of the Cold War and the Korean War Uranium mining kept accelerating in Navajo country.
Eventually workers started dying of cancer (lung cancer, colon cancer, brain tumours). More and more women and children became diagnosed with cancer and died prematurely. Tests and studies were made on people, on the drinking water, and the habitats - some of which showed severe levels of radiation. The radiation was literally spreading more and more across their land. And nothing was done! The companies and the managers got rich. The Navajo's got hardly anything, particularly compared to miners off the reservation.
Both the companies and the various government organizations (and there are many) obfuscated the issues and "Passed the Buck" as people continued to get sick and die.Read more ›
The challenge continues with recent attempts to continue uranium mining on the Colorado Plateau and near Grand Canyon. Other Native American tribes, stand to be subjected to the impacts of Uranium Mining. "Yellow Dirt" provides the historical context as to understand this complex issue and the shameful disregard for Native Americans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting book that I read for boo club. The book does an excellent job of explaining the history of uranium mining Native American land. Read morePublished 2 months ago by pat
As the Gold King mine spill is in the news here in NM, what happened with the uranium is equally important to the Navajo Nation. Good there is a book about it.Published 2 months ago by ARTTREK
A great story. When will we learn to respect our Native Americans as they should be treated. Thanks Judy for this great book.
The author did a very good work gathering information and going back with when uranium was first noticed by a local resident. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
great read- sad story about mis treatment of the navajos - a must readPublished 19 months ago by mary
A great book dealing with an important subject. Well written, well organized, and well researched. Topic is depressing though so the book needs to be put down occasionally... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Mark R. Ashland, CPA, Esq., CFE
Talks about true and actual uranium activities that native people have experienced for decades and are still experiencing it today. Read morePublished on December 3, 2013 by Rita Capitan
Incredible true story of American greed.
The Navajo people were not only betrayed but forgotten. Unbelievable that this saga continues!