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Paradise Falls
Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe | Keith O'Brien
7 posts | 7 read | 14 to read
From the New York Times best-selling journalist, the staggering, hidden story of an unlikely band of mothers who discovered the deadly secret of Love Canal, and exposed one of Americas most devastating environmental disasters. Lois Gibbs, Luella Kenny, and other mothers loved their neighborhood on the east side of Niagara Falls. It had an elementary school, a playground, and rows of affordable homes. In the spring of 1977, pungent odors began to seep into these little houses, and it didnt take long for worried mothers to identify the curious scent. It was the sickly-sweet smell of chemicals. In this propulsive work of narrative reportage, Keith OBrien uncovers how Lois Gibbs and Luella Kenny exposed the poisonous secrets buried in their neighborhood. The school and playground had been built atop an old canalthe Love Canal, it was called. The citys largest employer, Hooker Chemical, had quietly filled this canal with 20,000 tons of toxic waste in the 1940s and 1950s. This waste was now leaching to the surface, causing a public health crisis the likes of which America had never seen beforeand sparking new and specific fears. Luella Kenny believed the chemicals were making her son sick. OBrien braids together the previously unknown stories of Hooker Chemicals deeds; the local newspaperman, scientist, and congressional staffer who tried to help; the city and state officials who didnt; and the heroic women who stood up to corporate and governmental indifference to save their families and their children. They would take their fight all the way to the top, winning support from the E.P.A. and the White House, even President Jimmy Carter himself, and by the time it was over, they would capture the American imagination. Sweeping and electrifying, Paradise Falls brings to life a defining story from our past, laying bare how the dauntless efforts of a few women helped to spark the modern environmental movement as we know it today.
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jlhammar
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Pickpick

I knew nothing of the Love Canal environmental disaster prior to reading this. An infuriating and heartbreaking tale featuring some incredibly strong and inspiring women. When they voiced their well-founded concerns for the health of their families and community, it was dismissed as “useless housewife data.” The site was deemed safe in 2004, but residents living beside it report unusual health problems. Scary.

Link to 2018 PBS news segment below.

Suet624 I‘m glad this book was written. This is a piece of history that‘s infuriating and important to know. 2mo
62 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Addison_Reads
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Catching up on posts today...

I read 32 books for Jan. My favorite is tagged.
No blackout this month but still a few bingos for #BookSpinBingo.

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bio_chem06
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Pickpick

This was a great non-fiction. I would recommend it for anyone who likes history and politics.

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Addison_Reads
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#BookSpinBingo #BookSpin @TheAromaofBooks #NetGalley

Until this book I had never heard of the tragedy in Love Canal or the amazing group of mothers who fought to change things.

Paradise Falls is an inspiring, yet extremely frustrating read because people should not be subjected to living on/around a toxic dumping site.

O'Brien presents a well researched book with both facts and emotional true stories. Excellent read!

wanderinglynn It is an incredible story of community activism. 2mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 2mo
SamAnne Oh wow. This was big news when I was growing up. It‘s good to have a revisit. I grew up in a mini-cancer alley in a timber community. Georgia-Pacific and Weyerhaeuser doused us constantly in herbicides on their clearcuts. And yes, I have cancer. But can‘t prove what role it played. This one is stacked. Thanks for the great review. 2mo
SamAnne And yes, a community with no resources organized to stop it. And old book called A Bitter Fog chronicled the fight. 2mo
52 likes2 stack adds4 comments
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Maude
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This was fascinating and horrible, a gripping narrative about a terrible occurrence. I was completely wrapped up in the story right from the start. I read the ARC from #Netgalley (thank you🙂) but it was released in April of this year and I want a physical copy for sure!!

squirrelbrain Sounds really interesting - stacked! 7mo
Addison_Reads I have this ARC and I'm hoping to read it soon. Great review. 7mo
39 likes1 stack add2 comments
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catiewithac
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Pickpick

This book is a page-turning account of the Love Canal disaster. After decades of dumping toxic waste in an abandoned canal, a chemical manufacturing company sold the dump site to the City of Niagara Falls for one dollar. Then the school board promptly built an elementary school on the land. You can imagine how that turned out. And the truth is even more shocking. Next time you hear someone complain about EPA restrictions remind them of Love Canal.

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Howseldomtheydo
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Just started this! #currentlyreading The story of Love Canal has always interested me as I live just 20 minutes away.

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