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"Half Lives: The Unlikely History of Radium" by Lucy Jane Santos; Pegasus Books (336, $27.99) ——— Long before scientists split the atom, quacks and con artists were splitting the profits. Marie and Pierre Curie’s pioneering scientific work was 50 years old before America dropped the A-bomb. But the onslaught of atomic gadgets, radioactive tonics, and other potentially lethal nonsense? That ...

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