Today I have to write about a book that changed my opinion of something. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, so I had a tough time thinking of a meaningful opinion that a book has affected. I ended up deciding on Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen. This book changed my opinion on nuclear weapon development in the United States and the world.
Full Body Burden is a memoir about a girl who grew up next to a nuclear plant where they made the plutonium triggers in nuclear weapons. In the book, Iversen mixes investigative journalism with personal accounts to demonstrate how unsafe this plant was. She discloses facts of numerous meltdowns and illegal storage of nuclear waste that were kept secret from the public for a long time. In addition, she also discusses the growing illness and cancer rates in the community, as well as within her own family.
Being raised by Cold War era parents, I was always led to believe that America needed to have nuclear weapons in its arsenal. However, after reading this book, I realized that the costs were far too heavy compared to the payout. The negative effects of nuclear manufacturing on the environment and the population is out of control, and the government secrecy on the matter is absolutely ridiculous. So, now I think nuclear weapons are a terrible idea and never should have been used and should not continue to be developed.