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military history

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

Denise Kiernan.
Publisher Touchstone  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9 x 6 x 1 inches
ISBN 9781451617535
Pages/Publication Date 373/2013
Daedalus Item Code 42617
This item is not available.
From 1942 to 1945, the population of what would be called Oak Ridge, Tennessee, grew from a few farming families to more than 75,000 people—many of them women answering a government call for wartime work. This instant city was in operation 24 hours a day, with one of the largest bus systems in the United States, and consumed more electricity than Manhattan, yet it did not appear on any map. To the military, it was Site X, where the U.S. conducted its uranium refinement for the atomic bomb—a place so secret that most of the thousands there had no idea about the nature of their work until the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. As war worker and longtime resident Colleen Black quipped on NPR's Weekend Edition, "If somebody was to ask you, 'What are you making out there in Oak Ridge,' you'd say, '79 cents an hour'." In this irresistible chronicle of an all but unknown chapter of World War II, Denise Kiernan gives us Black's story and those of other adventurous women, whose time in this boomtown proved to be unforgettable and even inspired some of them to stay.

"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."—Washington Post

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