Uranium is a common element
in the earth’s crust and the only naturally occurring mineral with the power to
end all life on the planet. After World War II, it reshaped the global
order—whoever could master uranium could master the world.
Marie Curie gave us hope that
uranium would be a miracle panacea, but the Manhattan Project gave us reason to
believe that civilization would end with apocalypse. Slave labor camps in
Africa and Eastern Europe were built around mine shafts, and America would
knowingly send more than six hundred uranium miners to their graves in the name
of national security.
Fortunes have been made from
this yellow dirt; massive energy grids have been run from it. Fear of it
panicked the American people into supporting a questionable war with Iraq, and
its specter threatens to create another conflict in Iran. Now, some are hoping
it can help avoid a global warming catastrophe.
In Uranium, Tom Zoellner takes readers around the globe in
this intriguing look at the mineral that can sustain life or destroy it. Download and start listening now!