Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global order-whoever could master uranium could master the world.
Marie Curie gave us hope that uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts, and America would knowingly send more than 600 uranium miners to their graves in the name of national security.
Fortunes have been made from this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq, and its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe.
In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it.
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by Tom Zoellner
by Rob Thurman
by Tom Birdseye
by Tom Angleberger
"Zoellner takes an extended look at uranium--"the mineral of the Apocalypse." From the discovery of radioactivity to the development of the atomic bomb--the author looks at the impact of this powerful element on humankind. Narrator Patrick Lawlor applies just the right tone of aplomb to this examination of science and politics. Lawlor's performance grows on the listener. His enthusiasm keeps the listener engaged even in the midst of some dry details. He also has a talent for accents that adds interesting nuances to his performance. For example, when the author recounts the actions of A.Q. Kahn, the Pakistani who sold nuclear weapons and technology to anyone with money, Lawlor delivers Kahn's rationalizations with an Arabic accent: "What's the harm? Who is going to use those weapons?" J.A.H. (c) AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine"
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