Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed
WINNER OF THE J. ANTHONY LUKAS WORK-IN-PROGRESS AWARD
Atop a craggy mesa in the northern reaches of the Navajo reservation lies what was once a world-class uranium mine called Monument No. 2. Discovered in the 1940s—during the government’s desperate press to build nuclear weapons—the mesa’s tremendous lode would forever change the lives of the hundreds of Native Americans w...more
This occurred on the Navajo reservation that is located in Arizona and Utah. A great deal of the mining was in Monument Valley. The initial reason for extracting the Uranium was the real fear that the enemies of democracy, particularly Nazi Germany, would also start to process Uranium for the purposes of making a nuclear explosion. In the early 1940’s little was known of the affects of ...more
Pasternak writes a concise, well-researched report on the depredations of the U.S. government and uranium mining countries as they exploited Navajo land to fuel their profits and weapons supply. The neglect, recklessness, and lack of compassion shown by those entities is absolutely stunning, and the shock is all the more sharp gi ...more
How long and how often will we continue in the U.S. to rape and pillage non-whites? I'm thinking maybe when non-whites finally become the majority? That day is coming soon, thank God! Oh, no wait, then of course there is the constant barrage of abuse of the poor, who are just getting poorer and less powerful, b ...more
But the mining was carried out with no safety standards. No ventilation, no dust remediation, no breath masks, and not a word to the workers that the substance they were excavating might be dangerous. Pasternak notes that this was true at mines wor ...more
Subject Navajo Indians -- Government relations -- History -- 20th century.
Navajo Indians -- Health and hygiene -- History -- 20th century.
Navajo Indians -- Biography.
Uranium mines and mining -- Political aspects -- Southwest, New -- History -- 20th century.
Uranium mines and mining -- Social aspects -- Southwest, New -- History -- 20th century.
Radiation -- Health aspects -- Southwest, New -- History -- 20th century.
Navajo Indian Reserva ...more
Judy Pasternak’s remarkable story of deceit, injury, racism and murder all built around the quest for uranium during WWII and the Cold War era is a masterful bit of research and writing. Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed follows the discovery of uranium on the Navajo reservation in the American West (really, the discovery by Whites as the Navajo knew it was there all along, they just generally did not understand what it represented in the modern age) and how...more
The author uses a story-telling style for the early part of the book. This is effective in setting the tone of how the Navajo people view the la ...more
This book is based on a series of articles in the LA Times by the author. I suspect that the articles probably read better. The book is heavily padded and ponderous. The story is compelling but I'd recommend either skimming ...more