URANIUM FEVER by Raymond W. & Samuel W. Taylor


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A lengthy strip mining of anecdotes, personal history, and mild political commentary about the uranium boom in Utah mainly in the early '50's. Next to the Belgian Congo, the Colorado Plateau (Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico) offered the richest lode via its public lands. And the Taylor brothers--writer Sam and speculator extraordinary, Ray--indulged their specialties at a time when the populace in their home territory of Utah were running wild with map and geiger counter. While Sam accompanied a film company screening a documentary which he was script writing, Ray, whose dubious wealth (on paper) fluctuated day by day, carried on a brisk business in claim speculation--a practice brought to a halt in the '60's when large companies drove out the small mine owner. The brothers have dredged up a number of uranium limelighters--Charlie Steen, overnight millionaire, some murder victims, a horde of Fundamentalist polygamists (who deeded Ray a claim in exchange for buffer protection), a religious fanatic who ""lost"" Ray in the wilderness, and various, nefarious AEC officials. The brothers Taylor are not fond of the AEC and their estimates of the planning of Lilienthal and the ordeal of Oppenheimer reflect a wary remove from depth analysis. Of regional interest mostly--it's a tiring ramble.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1970
Publisher: Macmillan