AUTHORWelsome, Eileen
TITLEThe Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War
PUBLISHERDial Press
CITYNew York, NY
DATE PUBLISHED1999
ISBN0-385-31402-7


This book is an original and provocative investigation into a little-known realm of America’s nuclear research: experimentation on human beings using plutonium. Welsome, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, uncovers the identities of 18 people injected with plutonium as a part of a military effort to learn more about that element’s medical effects on human beings. She tells the stories of the Americans who were injected secretly with varying amounts of plutonium during hospital stays around the country. These people were lower class men, women, and children; some survived dozens of years, and others died soon after their injections. Welsome also tells the stories of the doctors who led the project and their ethical debates on the implications of plutonium injections. The book claims to expose a 50-year cover-up by the Department of Energy of radiological experiments on human beings. The immaculately detailed and documented text flows in rich and eloquent prose.


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