What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City

9 CDs. 11:11 hrs. Books on Tape. Jun. 2018. ISBN 9780525492627. $45. SOC SCI
Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at the city hospital in Flint, MI, recounts vividly the events leading to the 2015 press conference at which she held a clear baby bottle filled with water from the Flint River saying, "This is what our babies are drinking… Lead-tainted water during the period of most critical brain development." Hanna-Attisha risked her reputation as a researcher when she went public with data showing elevated lead blood levels in the children of Flint, the scientific proof something was wrong with the city's water, which many parents and community leaders had been saying for months. The children were being poisoned by a neurotoxin that hinders development for years to come. Hanna-Attisha, an immigrant whose Iraqi parents were social and political activists, weaves her personal stories with the history of Flint and the racial undercurrent in government policies that led to the water crisis. Hanna-Attisha's narration underscores her passion for science and children, but there were moments when the program was off the mark: either too much or too little emotion, or too fast or too slow in delivery. Still, her story is so compelling that the hiccups in narration, including some choppy editing, could be overlooked.
VERDICT Hanna-Attisha's debut work offers a dramatic firsthand view of what happens when government fails to serve the public good, sacrificing public health for the sake of saving municipal dollars. ["Essential for all readers who care about children, health, and the environment": LJ 6/1/18 starred review of the One World hc.]
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