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

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

ISBN13: 9781451617535
ISBN10: 1451617534
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The New York Times bestseller, now available in paperback — an incredible true story of the top-secret World War II town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the young women brought there unknowingly to help build the atomic bomb.

At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women from small towns across the U.S., were recruited to this secret city, enticed by the promise of solid wages and war-ending work. What were they actually doing there? Very few knew. The purpose of this mysterious government project was kept a secret from the outside world and from the majority of the residents themselves. Some wondered why, despite the constant work and round-the-clock activity in this makeshift town, did no tangible product of any kind ever seem to leave its guarded gates? The women who kept this town running would find out at the end of the war, when Oak Ridge's secret was revealed and changed the world forever.

Drawing from the voices and experiences of the women who lived and worked in Oak Ridge, The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of World War II from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage.

Review:

"I love these kinds of books, and this is a great one....It's a phenomenal story." Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Review:

"Kiernan's accounts ring with authenticity....The Girls of Atomic City is fascinating." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"Fascinating...Kiernan has amassed a deep reservoir of intimate details of what life was like for women living in the secret city, gleaned from seven years of interviews and research....Rosie, it turns out, did much more than drive rivets." The Washington Post

Review:

"Kiernan...brings a unique and personal perspective to this key part of American history....Instead of the words of top scientists and government officials, Kiernan recounts the experiences of factory workers, secretaries, and low-level chemists in a town that housed at its peak 75,000 people trained not to talk about what they knew or what they did. She combines their stories with detailed reporting that provides a clear and compelling picture of this fascinating time." The Boston Globe

Review:

"Kiernan's focus is on the intimate and often strange details of work and life at Oak Ridge. It's told in a novelistic style and is an intimate look at the experiences of the young women who worked at Oak Ridge and the local residents whose lives were changed by the presence of the project." The San Francisco Book Review

Review:

"Kiernan's book, the result of seven years of research and interviews with the surviving 'girls,' sparkles with their bright, WWII slang and spirit, and takes readers behind the scenes into the hive-like encampments and cubicles where they spent their days and nights....The Girls of Atomic City brings to light a forgotten chapter in our history that combines a vivid, novelistic story with often troubling science." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

"A fresh take on the secret city built in the mountains of Tennessee as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II....An inspiring account of how people can respond with their best when called upon." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Kiernan snugly fits original research into the creation story of Oak Ridge and should engage readers interested in both women's history and the background of the atomic bomb." Booklist

Review:

"This intimate and revealing glimpse into one of the most important scientific developments in history will appeal to a broad audience." Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Denise Kiernan is the author of several books, including The Girls of Atomic City, Signing Their Lives Away, and Signing Their Rights Away. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Discover, Village Voice, Ms., and other national publications. Visit her at DeniseKiernan.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

bugzna2000, April 23, 2014 (view all comments by bugzna2000)
This is a remarkable compilation of stories and info about the working women of Oak Ridge, a secret government facility built during the height of World War II to support the war effort. Oak Ridge was cloaked in secrecy, so large that it used more electricity than New York City and employed thousands of people. Women were recruited right out of school, given no information about where they were going or what they would be doing. Never before in history was so much responsibility placed on the shoulders of such young people. Few ever guessed the nature of their tasks until the war was over, and even then, some were never entirely clear. Incredible stuff.

A big thanks to Denise Kiernen for meticulously documenting the significant contributions and sacrifices of these ladies, now in their eighties and nineties, through her own personal conversations with them and extensive research. I for one am pleased that this story is now documented for generations to come.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781451617535
Subtitle:
The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II
Author:
Kiernan, Denise
Publisher:
Touchstone
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Biography-Women
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20140311
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
228.6 x 152.4 mm

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Women
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
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History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
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Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Touchstone - English 9781451617535 Reviews:
"Review" by , "I love these kinds of books, and this is a great one....It's a phenomenal story."
"Review" by , "Kiernan's accounts ring with authenticity....The Girls of Atomic City is fascinating."
"Review" by , "Fascinating...Kiernan has amassed a deep reservoir of intimate details of what life was like for women living in the secret city, gleaned from seven years of interviews and research....Rosie, it turns out, did much more than drive rivets."
"Review" by , "Kiernan...brings a unique and personal perspective to this key part of American history....Instead of the words of top scientists and government officials, Kiernan recounts the experiences of factory workers, secretaries, and low-level chemists in a town that housed at its peak 75,000 people trained not to talk about what they knew or what they did. She combines their stories with detailed reporting that provides a clear and compelling picture of this fascinating time."
"Review" by , "Kiernan's focus is on the intimate and often strange details of work and life at Oak Ridge. It's told in a novelistic style and is an intimate look at the experiences of the young women who worked at Oak Ridge and the local residents whose lives were changed by the presence of the project."
"Review" by , "Kiernan's book, the result of seven years of research and interviews with the surviving 'girls,' sparkles with their bright, WWII slang and spirit, and takes readers behind the scenes into the hive-like encampments and cubicles where they spent their days and nights....The Girls of Atomic City brings to light a forgotten chapter in our history that combines a vivid, novelistic story with often troubling science."
"Review" by , "A fresh take on the secret city built in the mountains of Tennessee as part of the Manhattan Project during World War II....An inspiring account of how people can respond with their best when called upon."
"Review" by , "Kiernan snugly fits original research into the creation story of Oak Ridge and should engage readers interested in both women's history and the background of the atomic bomb."
"Review" by , "This intimate and revealing glimpse into one of the most important scientific developments in history will appeal to a broad audience."
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