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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
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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, NY : Simon & Schuster, 2013.
Edition: 1st Touchstone hardcover ed.
Characteristics: xvii, 373 p., [16] unnumbered pages of plates :,ill., map, ports. ;,24 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
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.
Local Note: 6 7 8 15 17 18 29 35 38 53 57 63 64 69 74 76 79 80 97 102 109 112 118 122 127 133 138 143 148 149 150 151 152 167 172 176 182 188 210 211 216 222 224 228 231 234 242 243 244 250 262 264 272 276
ISBN: 1451617526
9781451617528
Statement of Responsibility: Denise Kiernan
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 317-347) and index.
Subject Headings: World War, 1939-1945 Tennessee Oak Ridge. World War, 1939-1945 Women Tennessee Oak Ridge. Official secrets United States History 20th century. Uranium enrichment History 20th century. Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Biography. Women Tennessee Oak Ridge Interviews. Women employees Tennessee Oak Ridge History 20th century. Oak Ridge (Tenn.) Social life and customs 20th century. Oak Ridge (Tenn.) History 20th century. Oak Ridge National Laboratory History 20th century.
Topical Term: World War, 1939-1945
World War, 1939-1945
Official secrets
Uranium enrichment
Women
Women employees
LCCN: 2013431175
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Aug 16, 2014
  • MrFrida rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This book is for anyone who enjoys an historical and true story. Denise Kiernan offers an insightful look into the daily lives of the women who lived and worked in what was a secret city--Oak Ridge, Tennessee--established as part of the Manhattan Project in World War II. The narrative explicitly illustrates the compartmentalization and secrecy that the U. S. undertook to assure the development of the atomic bomb with the goal of ending the war. Reading the story gave me a deep appreciation for the spirit and sacrifice of the times. The author provided such detail it felt as though I was there with the women during their time in Oak Ridge. A well done true story!

Jul 05, 2014
  • Jane60201 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Having had an uncle who was present as a graduate student "under the stands" at Stagg Field for the first atomic reaction, an aunt who worked as a scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and a friend who was with her family at Oak Ridge during World War II, I was fascinated to put this period of history together in a coherent way. Recommend this book highly for anyone interested in the social history of WW II.

Apr 26, 2014
  • dionyzus rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An interesting look behind the scenes at the top secret city behind the war effort to enrich uranium for the Manhattan Project. It's fortunate that the author was able to interview people who were there, as many of them are now in their 90s and won't be with us to share their memories much longer.

Jul 08, 2013
  • walkermom rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great scientific history that reads like a novel.

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app07 Version sidamo (sidamo) Last updated 2014/09/15 11:31