Uranium Frenzy: Boom and Bust on the Colorado Plateau

Raye C. Ringholz, Author W. W. Norton & Company $18.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-393-02644-3
In a perceptive and touching narrative, Ringholz ( The Wilderness Handbook ) recalls that the Federal government in the early 1950s subsidized uranium mining for the coming atomic age. The policy set off a frenzy of prospecting and speculation in Utah and Colorado that resembled an old-time gold rush. Dogged adventurers made, and later lost, millions on a single strike. Big companies bought out small claim holders by the dozens while other investors gambled frantically on uranium ``penny stocks.'' Meanwhile, health experts who detected longterm cancer-causing radiation in the mines and urged safety measures were thwarted by greed, inertia and bureaucratic red tape. Hundreds of miners died; many families received no compensation. Ringholz intrigues the reader with an expert blending of science, adventure, industry mania, finance, human triumph and despairand shameful official neglect. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/01/1989
Release date: 02/01/1989
Paperback - 978-0-8263-1252-5
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