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The Girls of Atomic City

The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II
Kiernan, Denise (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Girls of Atomic City


Item Details

In this book the author traces the story of the unsung World War II workers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. This is the story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history. The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project's secret cities, it did not appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships, and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men. But against this wartime backdrop, a darker story was unfolding. The penalty for talking about their work, even the most innocuous details, was job loss and eviction. One woman was recruited to spy on her coworkers. They all knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until the bomb "Little Boy" was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, and the secret was out. The shocking revelation: the residents of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium for the atomic bomb. Though the young women originally believed they would leave Oak Ridge after the war, many met husbands there, made lifelong friends, and still call the seventy-year-old town home. The reverberations from their work there, work they did not fully understand at the time, are still being felt today.
Authors: Kiernan, Denise
Title: The girls of Atomic City
the untold story of the women who helped win World War II
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2013
Edition: 1st Touchstone hardcover ed
Characteristics: xvii, 373 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill., map, ports. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Denise Kiernan
Notes: "A Touchstone book."
Contents: Revelation, August 1945
Everything will be taken care of : train to nowhere, August 1943. Tubealloy : the Bohemian Grove to the Appalachian Hills, September 1942
Peaches and pearls : the taking of Site X, Fall 1942. Tubealloy : Ida and the atom, 1934
Through the gates : Clinton Engineer Works, Fall 1943. Tubealloy : Lise and fission, 1938
Bull pens and creeps : the Project's welcome for new employees. Tubealloy : Leona and success in Chicago, December 1942
Only temporary : spring into Summer, 1944. Tubealloy : the quest for product
To work. Tubealloy : the couriers
Rhythms of life. Tubealloy : Security, censorship, and the press
The one about fireflies. Tubealloy : pumpkins, spies, and chicken soup, Fall 1944
The unspoken : sweethearts and secrets. Tubealloy : combining efforts in the New Year
Curiosity and silence. Tubealloy : the project's crucial spring
Innocence lost. Tubealloy : hope and the haberdasher, April-May 1945
Sand jumps in the desert, July 1945
The gadget revealed
Dawn of a thousand suns
Life in the new age
Summary: In this book the author traces the story of the unsung World War II workers in Oak Ridge, Tennessee through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. This is the story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history. The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project's secret cities, it did not appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships, and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men. But against this wartime backdrop, a darker story was unfolding. The penalty for talking about their work, even the most innocuous details, was job loss and eviction. One woman was recruited to spy on her coworkers. They all knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until the bomb "Little Boy" was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, and the secret was out. The shocking revelation: the residents of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium for the atomic bomb. Though the young women originally believed they would leave Oak Ridge after the war, many met husbands there, made lifelong friends, and still call the seventy-year-old town home. The reverberations from their work there, work they did not fully understand at the time, are still being felt today.
ISBN: 9781451617528
1451617526
9781451617542
Branch Call Number: 976.873 K475g 2013
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Report This Jul 08, 2013
  • walkermom rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great scientific history that reads like a novel.

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