Fascinating read about incidents that I knew little about. The Rocky Flats nuclear incidents, and the gov't cover-up along the way, should serve as a...moreFascinating read about incidents that I knew little about. The Rocky Flats nuclear incidents, and the gov't cover-up along the way, should serve as a cautionary tale about the environment, the military-industrial complex, and our willingness to believe what we are told at the cost of our health and the destruction of nature.
At first, I was unsure that Iversen's approach was going to work -- she tells interwoven tales here: one a memoir of growing up in a dysfunctional home in the Rocky Flats area, and another a journalistic expose on the nuclear facility that provided so many in the area the American dream. However, as the book progresses, it becomes clear that this unique approach does indeed work. As Rocky Flats' true blue American facade becomes overtaken by the truths which outgrow the lies, the same happens with her family.
Nothing is as good as it seems from the outside in Rocky Flats. The promise of happiness and the American Dream is often just that: a promise.
It's a beautifully written memoir, and a relentlessly researched expose, at times completely mind-boggling. When reading it, I felt that perhaps something like Rocky Flats can never happen again. But this book teaches us that we can never feel satisfied with the lines we are fed by the government. I justifies the need for independent verification, for skepticism, and for protest. (less)
this is a fun read. the book straddles quite nicely that line between bookish and entertaining. the narrative is a little lop-sided. i think grann's o...morethis is a fun read. the book straddles quite nicely that line between bookish and entertaining. the narrative is a little lop-sided. i think grann's own adventure pales in comparison, in terms of drama, but of course it's crucial to getting you the answers you are looking for -- namely, does z exist? and what happened to percy fawcett?
i think i most enjoyed the descriptions of the difficult nature of amazonian exploration. the bugs, the maggots, the disease, harsh nature of the terrain. grann brilliantly characterizes the amazon -- i certainly have no urge to visit, thank you. this book puts to rest any questions a reader might have about which is more powerful, man or nature.
anyone who has enjoyed krakauer's books, or enjoys a good travel yarn, mixed with a bit of indiana jones, and a dash of a mystery will find lots to enjoy here.(less)
we're very fortunate to have this book. i am lame for having waited this long to read it. this is one of those that you hope everyone reads before the...morewe're very fortunate to have this book. i am lame for having waited this long to read it. this is one of those that you hope everyone reads before they die. (less)
this book starts out as a true life faulkner story, and ends up taking you through a history of civil rights in the american south, a history of oxfor...morethis book starts out as a true life faulkner story, and ends up taking you through a history of civil rights in the american south, a history of oxford nc, and a history of the tyson family. you eventually do get back to the story that sucked you in to begin with, but not after becoming a student for a few hundred pages. i have heard some say that they wished that tyson had self-edited his text here. i might have felt that immediately, but in hindsight, i applaud his efforts to put forth a timeline of civil rights and enlighten the reader with regards to post-slavery paternalism, southern racial attitudes (it's not as obvious as people think), and various perspectives on the white supremacy movements of the 60s and 70s in the rural south.
it's a powerful book. one can't help but feel ashamed that these events took place in recent history. but tyson's object here is to shine a light on the ugly truths of these events, to expose the truths, expel the myths, and provide us with the wisdom and insight to further his message of tolerance and equality.(less)