Kristen Iversen has penned an extraordinary narration of the contamination, bureaucracy, and fallout from [our nuclear] defense fiasco that is not unique to the location of Colorado, but touches on those areas throughout our country. Extraordinary in scope . . . and truly remarkable research, done with great sensitivity.”

 

I spent 35 years in the energy production business believing that nuclear power is a vital part of the portfolio of electric generation options. Full Body Burden has made me reflect on my belief that ultimately nuclear energy is the best option in the long run . . . If it were up to me, Kristen Iversen would receive the Nobel prize for literature, and maybe science, too!”

 

As a child growing up downwind from Rocky Flats, I found Kristen’s research about what was really happening at Rocky Flats to be startling and frightening. At the same time, this well-researched work of non-fiction reads like a novel. I couldn’t put it down. This book is so important for every person living near any nuclear facility.”

 

Iversen’s ability to weave the personal with the technical kept me enthralled. And the stories of the illnesses and government and corporate lies are far from over. This should be required reading for all public officials—in fact, everyone who cares about living in a healthy world.”

 

Be prepared to be terrified, amazed and astounded as you read this book . . . Ms. Iversen has done a grand job, much in the tradition of Body Toxic and A Civil Action. This is a poetic and heart-wrenching book, one that is eye-opening and frightening to the infinite degree.”

 

This is a book that should be required reading in high school or college. Not because it is geared for the young, but because they can learn to do better and become better watch dogs of their environment, security and moral ethics. In fact, it should be required reading for all.”

 

Full Body Burden is a book you should not pick up if you don’t have a solid day or two to devote to reading it. Once you start it, you will not put it down until the last page.”

 

Kristen Iversen is a brave whistle blower, the Erin Brockovich of plutonium pollution. And she’s a hell of a good writer, making the nonfiction account of government and corporate cover-up of Colorado’s Rocky Flats secret nuclear weapons plant activities a compelling, frightening, and personal story.”

 

Kristen’s book has opened the eyes of citizens living in the shadows of nuclear facilities.”

 

Written with shattering truth and honesty, this is the story of innocent folks lied to by the Government, Big Industry, and their political leaders. This book will make you wonder what we don’t know, and how much the public is left in the dark about what goes on in their own backyard.”

 

For 18 years I was an industrial hygienist with the Department of Energy at the Hanford site. The Hanford Works developed the plutonium used in the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, and Hanford now has the distinction of being one of the world’s most radioactive and toxic environmental sites . . . There was so much mistrust among workers and management during my tenure with DOE that resonated in this story . . . It is a fascinating but culturally toxic work environment, characterized by secrecy and mistrust.”

 

I had a lot of late nights because of this book—it was very hard to put down. The story was very well told, the author writes extremely well, and the story moves briskly.”

 

Iversen’s ultimate refusal to be silenced makes Full Body Burden nothing short of heroic. Painstakingly researched for over ten years—but arguably a lifetime in the making—this book subverts expectations of genre by combining elements of memoir, journalism, physics, environmentalism, history, social activism, and politics–all artfully fused in Iversen’s fluid and beautiful prose.”

 

I highly recommend this book as a wonderfully written human story, but also as an informative source of information about how our government and the government-corporate complex works.”

 

The technical data behind the story is well researched and annotated. The basic scientific background and legal decisions are laid out in the book, and the supporting public information is referenced so that it can be looked up by those who want more detail. The personal involvement in the story is what makes the book such a joy to read and keeps it from being too heavy.”

 

This is true drama, a fast read, and a story that needs to be heard. Read this and recommend it to everyone you know!”

 

So many threads move with vulnerable beauty through this well-documented book (close to 400 footnotes): social justice, environmental concerns, alcoholism, nuclear disaster coverups . . . It is a detective story plus a thriller plus a memoir.”

 

The plot flows quickly. The dialogue is believable and exciting. At points you forget you are reading about something that really happened, as your literary senses are aroused by her expert use of language. That’s what the best creative nonfiction does–it reads like a top-notch novel, but stays true to the facts.”

 

This is a truly great book. It is beautifully written and Iversen deftly interweaves the twin narratives of the Rocky Flats plant and her own life. Thorough, thoughtful and interesting . . . Iversen shows how an endless accretion of small mistakes, big mistakes, secrecy, expediency, cost cutting and patriotism combined to create a hidden disaster. No one set out to spread plutonium across the land, but it happened anyway.”

 

I must confess that I found this book almost impossible to put down . . . one of the functions of government is to protect its citizens, and in this case the government not only failed in its duty but continued to espouse the fiction that everything was just fine at Rocky Flats . . . thoughtful, well-written, and well-researched, this book should serve as a wakeup call for us never to stop questioning when our internal alarm bells go off.”

 

This is a very disturbing book, but one that should be read, especially if you live near a nuclear facility.”

 

Full Body Burden is an intense, fast read. It alternately fascinated and horrified me. Iversen does an excellent job of writing the fifty-year history of Rocky Flats in a very readable and intriguing way. The book is also the story of growing up in Colorado in the 50s and 60s—a beautiful story of horses, land, and childhood, but also a painful story of alcoholism in a family.”

 

This book makes it clear why nuclear sites are a national problem, not just a Colorado problem. Iversen discusses the shipping and storing of nuclear waste and other states that have similar contamination issues, including Idaho, Washington, South Carolina, Ohio, New Mexico, and Tennessee.”

 

Kristen Iversen has chronicled the story of Rocky Flats—the fires, the lies, the raid, the trial—in a book as mesmerizing as the best mystery you’ve ever read. Her writing is crisp, her story unforgettable.”

 

What I liked about this book was the nice balance between the story of the author’s life growing up near Rocky Flats and the reality and intense research to uncover the REAL story of what was happening at Rocky Flats. She exposes the secrets of this government plant with uncanny detail.”

 

Full Body Burden was a gripping read. I really had trouble putting it down until I’d turned the last page.”

 

Kristen Iversen’s words are an extremely personal look inside both the American Dream and the lies many will tell to keep numerous facades from crumbling . . . Full Body Burden is both a personal narrative of her past and a warning about the future . . . specifically how and why history should not be repeated.”

 

The measured terror with which Kristen Iversen relates the shameful history of Rocky Flats piques our interest, scares us, and makes us see how deceptive and insidious those charged with managing the plant were and are to this day. Iversen’s relentless presentation of the sordid facts keeps this narrative a page-turner, and we would do well to note that her ending can have no closure, as it’s clear that the lies and smoke screens continue.”

 

Full Body Burden is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction. Iversen has written an artful blend of the personal and the political. The author relates her personal life story with an informed investigation into the nuclear bomb plant located near her home town in Rocky Flats, Colorado. This exceptional book is certain to be widely read and discussed.”

 

Kristen Iversen follows the theme of silence throughout this very important book: the silence within a fractured family; the silence of the wind-swept high plains reaching toward the Colorado Rocky Mountains; and the worst silence of all, that knowing silence that put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk as our own government lied to further its own ends.”

 

The book is well written—very emotional, face paced and gripping—and exposes a part of the government’s operations that seem so much more like that one would expect in Russia in the 70s, not the US in the 70s.”

 

Thoroughly chronicles the problems that occurred at Rocky Flats for many years, and it lays bare the implications for all the major U.S. nuclear facilities, including Fernald, Hanford, Pantex, Los Alamos, and others.”

 

This book accomplishes what would seem to be impossibility—combining an intimate and elegant personal memoir with a powerful and incredibly important documentary . . . It is my profound belief that we as citizens need to know the truth about the real risks resulting from our burgeoning nuclear industry both for peaceful and for wartime uses. Only then can intelligent political decisions be made.”

 

From a memoir perspective, Iversen’s life story is filled with experiences that will resonate with many readers. From a documentary perspective, the book is a very well-written, extensively researched and factual account of what occurred at the Rocky Flat nuclear plant over the course of 50+ years. As a former employee at Rocky Flats during the production and cleanup years, I can attest that this book represents a very accurate portrayal of the culture and the operations that existed at the plant–absolutely spot-on–which is a testament to the thoroughness of her research.”

 

Dr. Kristen Iversen’s Full Body Burden-Growing Up in the Shadow of Rocky Flats shows what it was like to live near a nuclear weapons facility; not an electrical power plant but a reckless, careless, unsafe, hazardous nuclear weapons plant within 16 miles of Denver that made 70,000 plutonium pits for 37 years during the Cold War without much public knowledge. She illustrates the secrecy of the Cold War era we have been so eager to put behind us. We cannot relegate nuclear waste and nuclear disasters to history books on a forgotten shelf. Excellent storyteller, historian, journalist!”