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Raw Deal: Horrible and Ironic Stories of…
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Raw Deal: Horrible and Ironic Stories of Forgotten Americans

by Ken Smith

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This was a non-fiction collection of short biographies of people who had a raw deal in life, supposedly. After reading it, I would argue that some of these people were privileged folks that had many of their advantages taken from them and some of them made some poor decisions, but many of them were innocent people that got screwed over again and again.

At any rate, it's an interesting history lesson. It's no surprise that two of these stories are about Native American peacemakers that got repeatedly screwed by white invaders and their broken promises. But did you know that there used to be "teleharmonium" wires that ran alongside the telephone wires, that brought music into homes and businesses? Apparently the guy who invented this machine got screwed over. The inventors of vulcanized rubber and FM radio also got screwed and died penniless and alone.

The most compelling story in my opinion was the one about Karen Silkwood, the woman who was poisoned with radioactivity and then run off the road and killed for investigating serious safety breaches in the plutonium processing factory where she was working. There was also a doozy about a guy who worked for the CIA who got dosed with LSD without his consent by a coworker, and ended up committing suicide.

This is not the book of the century, but I did learn some things. Good for when you want to read a chapter that only takes a few minutes. ( )
  weener | Jul 6, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0922233209, Paperback)

The perfect tonic for anyone who's sick of inspiring tales of triumph over adversity, Raw Deal chronicles the lives of 22 of America's most wretched victims--who did nothing wrong but nonetheless suffered horrible fates. 22 full page portraits.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:47 -0400)

The book "profiles twenty-two of the greatest Great Victims of all time, all Americans who suffered wretched fates. Most are unknown, nearly all were positive thinkers, none survived."--P. [4] of cover.

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