A Trust Betrayed: The Untold Story of Camp Lejeune and the Poisoning of Generations of Marines and Their Families

Mike Magner. Da Capo, $27.50 (320p) ISBN 978-0-306-82257-5
The poisoning of the water supply with toxic chemicals at Camp Lejeune, the large U.S. Marine Corps base in North Carolina, began in the 1950s, exposing as many as a million Marines and their families to dangerously contaminated water over the next three decades. It wasn’t until the 1980s, though, that the extent of the danger to the health of untold numbers of Camp Lejeune families first came to light. Magner, the managing editor of National Journal, reveals the troubling details of this environmental and public health disaster, the “largest and worst incidence of a poisoned water supply in history.” This exposé addresses the efforts by Marine Corps officials to ignore evidence of the contamination, drag their heels on warning of the dangers, and continue to allow the contaminated wells to be used long into the 1980s. What initially “was a story of negligence,” according to Magner, “turned to dissembling, stonewalling, and obfuscation.” While not exactly the “untold” story implied by the title, this book is the first complete account of what really happened—an adroit mixture of detailed factual reporting and disturbing accounts of the serious health problems suffered by individual Marines and their families. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-306-82258-2
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