Denise Kiernan - THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY
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 US history.
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 true nature
of the tasks they performed each day in the hulking factories in the
middle of the Appalachian Mountains. That is, until the end of the
war—when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed.
Drawing on the voices of the women who lived it—women who are now in
their eighties and nineties—THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY rescues a
remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history from obscurity. Denise
Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their
pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. Combining
the grand-scale human drama of The Worst Hard Time with the intimate
biography and often troubling science of The Immortal Life of Henrietta
Lacks, THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY is a lasting and important addition to
our country’s history.