The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

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Simon and Schuster, Mar 5, 2013 - Biography & Autobiography - 373 pages
33 Reviews
The incredible story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in US history.

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town did not exist. Thousands of civilians—many of them young women from small towns across the South—were recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Kept very much in the dark, few would ever guess the true nature of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the war—when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed.

Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it—women who are now in their eighties and nineties—The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Girls of Atomic City is a lasting and important addition to our country’s history.
  

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Review: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

User Review  - Susan - Goodreads

I recommend Girls of Atomic City if you are a history buff, and love to hear of women in strength. It is a great read for book club with great discussion. You won't believe what comes up after reading ... Read full review

Review: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

User Review  - Will Boncher - Goodreads

I really only knew about Los Alamos' role in the Manhattan Project. I knew vaguely that Oak Ridge did something, but never looked into it. This book focuses on the role of all of the women who were integral to its success. Definitely worth a read. Read full review

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Contents

EVERYTHING WILL BE TAKEN CARE
3
September 1942
15
CLINTON ENGINEER WORKS
35
THE PROJECTS
63
SPRING INTO SUMMER 1944
81
The Quest for Product
99
TO WORK
109
The Couriers
131
CURIOSITY AND SILENCE
193
The Projects Crucial Spring
205
Hope and the Haberdasher AprilMay 1945
223
SAND JUMPS IN THE DESERT_ULY 1945
232
THE GADGET REVEALED
249
DAWN OF A THOUSAND SUNS
269
LIFE IN THE NEW AGE
286
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Denise Kiernan has been working as a writer for nearly twenty years. Her most recent book, The Girls of Atomic City, is a New York Times, Los Angeles Times and NPR bestseller, and was named as one of Amazon’s Top 100 Best Books of 2013. She is also the author of popular history titles Signing Their Lives Away, Signing Their Rights Away, and Stuff Every American Should Know. She has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, Ms. Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Discover, and many more publications. She has also worked in television, serving as head writer for ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire during its Emmy award-winning first season and producing for media outlets such as ESPN and MSNBC.  She has been a featured guest on NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” PBS NewsHour, MSNBC Morning Joe, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

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