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

The Girls of Atomic City The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II 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 U S history The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created

  • Title: The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II
  • Author: Denise Kiernan
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 443
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 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 U.S history.The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942 One of the Manhattan Project s secret cities, it didn t appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using electricThe incredible 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 didn t appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using electricity than New York City and was home to 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 vibrant 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 didn t fully understand at the time are still being felt today In The Girls of Atomic City, Denise Kiernan traces the astonishing story of these unsung WWII workers through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is history and science made fresh and vibrant a beautifully told, deeply researched story that unfolds in a suspenseful and exciting way.

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      Published :2018-08-04T15:22:41+00:00

    1 thought on “The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II”

    1. If you read my reviews (and thanks if you do) you know that I virtually NEVER give a book 5 stars. Few books deserve it.But I am breaking my own rule on this one.Most of the adult non-fiction I have read in recent years has been pretentious, badly written, and highly overrated by reviewers. But this book is outstanding. From the first page, it reads like a well written novel--only it tells a true story. It's the story of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a city created by the government to develop the atomi [...]

    2. This is the story of women who went to work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during WW2. I liked the subject, I thought it was interesting. But these women's stories were told in a bare bones sort of way. I never felt like I got to know any of them. I certainly didn't get invested in anyone's story. Each person's story is spread over the whole book and elements pop up without much of a connection to other parts. Keeping track of the main people was not straight forward as some showed up once and then wer [...]

    3. Five stars for subject matter, three for execution. I'm always happy to read histories that focus on women, typically left out of war narratives. Add to that the fact that my grandmother was one of the "girls" of Atomic City, and you can see I was eager to read this book. My mother has said that the only thing my grandmother ever said on the subject was that everyone dated a lot during their time in Oak Ridge. The subject matter was fascinating, but unfortunately I keep getting caught up by sent [...]

    4. My father was a pathologist, with an interest in oncology. He was a pioneer in the work towards a cure for leukemia, and his quest took him on many unique journeys. He had this idea that you could inject an isotope into an infected guinea pig, and be able to read the path of the disease in the animal's body. He worked for the National Institutes of Health, and it was his resources there that allowed him to drive the family station wagon out to this place in Tennessee, and pick up a substance to [...]

    5. I made myself finish this wretched book. There are some things through the end that were interesting, but the author took a fascinating story and made it impossible for me to get into. The editor did this author a grave disservice by giving this version of the book the green light. Horribly difficult to follow and I didn't care about anybody because I couldn't keep track of who was who. Wretched. Wretched book. Skip it. I don't know how this book has become bad big as it has. I can't say enough [...]

    6. Overall a pretty good, informative, and entertaining book about a part of American history that is pretty much all but forgotten and unknown.The book is more a series of short stories from different women that are somewhat interwoven together over their tenure in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Like a lot of short stories, you fail to really connect with any of the characters other than just finding out random bits of information that compose their daily lives over their interesting and puzzling pasts. Ad [...]

    7. This is the story of ordinary people in extraordinary times, skillfully written to make the story unfold before the reader much like a novel. It’s the story of life in a secret city with a population of nearly 80,000, built within a year (1942-1943), on what had been farm land, and very few of the inhabitants and workers had any knowledge of the purpose of the place. And as the title indicates, many of those living there were women, and this book features their life and experiences.This is the [...]

    8. This was a secret government project during World War II. The goal was to create a weapon of mass destruction, the atomic bomb, a part of the Manhattan Project.There is a website: girlsofatomiccity/. Included on the site is a one hour video of an interesting presentation by author Denise Kiernan at NYU shortly after the book was published in 2013.The project site included tens of thousands of acres of land that was taken by the federal government via the eminent domain process in 1942. People we [...]

    9. The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan presents an unique insight into the highly classified Oak Ridge complex. She earned her BA degree from the Washington Square and University College of Arts & Science and her MA from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development of New York University. She has written for The New York Times, The Village Voice, and The Wall Street Journal. The offices were relocating, and [...]

    10. Audiobook narrated by Cassandra Campbell4****From the book jacket: 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 tru nature of t [...]

    11. I liked this book a lot, so four stars. It is interesting, well told and easy to follow. Although filled with facts it is never dry or boring. The scientific details are well explained so any lay person can understand. It is about the creation of Oak Ridge, Tennessee - a city created to produce the first atomic bombs' fuel source. This book not only follows the historical facts surrounding the creation of this fuel source but also the creation of the city where the people employed to do the firs [...]

    12. The book was interesting but not what I expected. I thought it was going to be more of a biography of women who had been directly and indirectly involved in the making of the atomic bomb(s) of WWII. And it did touch on them throughout the book, but not in any deep or meaningful way that let me feel as if I knew them. It felt more like what it was; the author had gone to interview many women and they shared snippets, little moments of events which made it into the book. The making of a biscuit pa [...]

    13. Content: 5 starsExecution: 3 starsThis is a great story of some of the women who helped with the making of the first atomic bomb. It was fascinating how they were recruited and then carried out their jobs. I loved reading about the history here. I just wasn't crazy about the writing. Some of it was kind of dry and weighty. Before it even really got started, I thought I wasn't going to be able to do itbut I'm glad I did. The story was worth the read.

    14. This was a hard book for me to rate. I absolutely loved the topic and appreciated that it was a a totally new subject to me that (supposedly) highlighted the role of women in creating the atomic bomb. But, I felt the title was a bit of false advertising and the story was not nearly as compelling as it could have easily been.After Pearl Harbor, there was an otherworldly confluence of scientific breakthroughs related to atomic fission and collection of scientific geniuses the likes of which the wo [...]

    15. Girls of Atomic CityThis is the perfectly executed history book: It tells a story from a side (women) that most people haven’t heard. It includes female scientists, African American women, native Tennessee women, transplants from the city, transplants from the prairie, and interactions between the women and Japanese women years immediately –and years- after the bomb fell. It covers racial tensions, social caste tensions, segregation and discrimination in the workplace, and the struggles of f [...]

    16. Wow Once I really sat down and read the last 70 percent of this book, (on Kindle), in almost one sitting (on a couple of sittings), I couldn't put it down!The 'details' from the Decision Makers (Scientists, Engineers), in this book no longer scared me. (or feed into "I won't understand").This story was FASCINATING. (I knew nothing about this topic prior to reading this book).The most ambitious War Project in Military History rested squarely on the shoulders on tens and thousands of ordinary peop [...]

    17. I don't know - I found myself not caring terribly much about this story and these people. That's exactly the opposite of what the author intended - she wanted the reader to be deeply invested in the life stories of an arbitrarily chosen/representative group of young women who worked at Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project, as perhaps a friendly handholding way for the reader to enter the story of the Bomb. (The "Cast of Characters" list at the start of the book lends to this idea of a grand sa [...]

    18. What an excellent book! I haven't anticipated reading a new book so much since I read The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo last year. Both are excellent books, but I would give the edge to this one.Kiernan introduces the reader to nine unique ladies who worked at Clinton Engineering Works under the cloak of secrecy. One lady, Celia,a government worker, was transported to the plant from New York City by train at night. She had no idea where the train wa [...]

    19. Per FTC rules: I received a free copy of this book as a giveaway from First Reads.What an outstanding read! I've made a point of contacting the author to let her know what a great book this was, and it certainly is the best book I've read this year. This story, based on interactions and interviews with the women who worked (and lived) at Oak Ridge, is truly remarkable in both its telling and its creation. It seems almost fictional for those of us who grew up in a world where nuclear energy, and [...]

    20. A nicely written, well-researched story on the creation of the atomic bomb. The book does a good job of bringing the science down to an attainable level for most readers. It's not an in-depth scientific look at the A-bomb by any means. Rather, the author tells the story through the women who moved to Oak Ridge, TN to work on the secretive Manhattan Project. In similar fashion to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the book alternates between scientific/historical accounts and delving into the [...]

    21. I made it to page 111 in chapter 5 and I'm calling it quits. The construction of this book is lousy. It jumps all over the place, there are too many characters to remember, none of them are memorable, the author relates WAY too much information about the specifics of making the bomb and only provides mundane snippets of the lives of the "girls" and I AM BORED TO TEARS!Read with SBC book club November 2016 (or not, as the case may be)

    22. If I were to say Los Alamos or The Manhattan Project, most people would know what I was talking about. If I were to say Hanford, WA or Oakridge, TN fewer people would know what I was referring to. This website about Los Alamos, New Mexico mentions both places briefly. What it doesn’t tell you is neither town existed before the 1940′s. This book is the history of the town of Oak Ridge, TN. More specifically it is the story of the many young women who came to Oak Ridge to help win the war.Ms. [...]

    23. If you are at all interested in women's history, the history of America's nuclear program, or Cold War history, The Girls of Atomic City should be one of those books that gets added on to and then moved up to the top of your tbr pile. It is one of the most thought-provoking nonfiction books I've read in a long time. As always, you can read the shortened version here, or click through for the longer one. In a nutshell, Girls of Atomic City explores some of the women who helped keep things going d [...]

    24. What I was expecting:What I got: Honestly. What a snoozefest. The Girls of Atomic City is crippled by its lack of focus. Kiernan attempts to tell three stories and winds up telling no stories - or three poorly developed, dull stories:1. The story of women working in Oak Ridge, TN.2. The biographical sketches of a smattering of the women themselves.3. The story of the production and release of the atomic bomb. Of these three, the most interesting is #2. But the women are so interchangeable that I [...]

    25. This book tells the very interesting story of the building of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan during WWII. Many of the workers in the Oak Ridge, TN plant were women. And even though the people who worked there didn't know what they were producing at the time because everything was Top Secret, they knew it was important work.The information in this book is very interesting, however was very long, very detailed, and highly technical, and it didn't make me want to keep coming back to th [...]

    26. Wonderful, interesting story. Fantastic collection of facts I didn't know about the building of the enormous Tennessee's Atomic City at Oak Ridge which was dedicated to the actual processes of creating and assisting the scientists of the Manhattan Project. ALL IN SECRET. Creating a secret city of 75,000 people is hard to comprehend as well as the fact that most of those in residence had no idea what it was they were working on. Boggles the mind.I only gave this three stars because it's rather dr [...]

    27. I loved this book, probably mostly because I'm from Knoxville and have wondered about Oak Ridge all my life. I loved learning about the women's lives in this secret town and what it was like to not be able to share any part of your life with others in fear of telling secrets. I was shocked to learn that they injected patients with plutonium without telling them that they were doing it or getting any kind of consent. That reminded me of the Rabbits in The Lilac Girls, when the women in the concen [...]

    28. The Girls of Atomic City is about the hidden women and workers of Oak Ridge, Tennessee and the Project to help win WWII that they didn't even know they were creating. There are multiple stories of different girls living in the pop- up, secret city of Oak Ridge near the Appalachian mountains, as well as scientific entries about the progress of WWII. The people of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium, called "Tubealloy" in the book, for the atomic bomb as well as many other jobs.One aspect I liked abo [...]

    29. I anxiously anticipated reading The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan, and I am delighted to report that I was not disappointed. In The Girls of Atomic City, Kiernan introduces us to a wide range of woman who worked at Clinton Engineering Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This self-contained community was part of the Manhattan Project and home to a top secret uranium project. Most of these woman had no idea what project they were worki [...]

    30. Despite it taking me over two months to finish this due to holidays and just "life," I found this very fascinating. I think the title is a bit misleading, as really it's about the whole Project, and I didn't feel it really was about the women, but rather was told through their eyes. I'm sure many of the men had similar experiences, other than those who experienced the project as housewives and not a blend of that AND working in the plants.Having a family history in this background makes the subj [...]

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