During World War II, the race was on between the allies and the axis to build a super-weapon, a bomb which would decide the fate of the war. In the sleepy hills of Tennessee, the Federal Government built a fenced-in, secret community called Oak Ridge, and they hired specialists of all stripes to work on the Manhattan Project, which ultimately led to the creation of the atomic bomb.
Kiernan spent much time interviewing and researching the women who worked in Oak Ridge, from secretaries and maids to scientists and the wives of the men who worked there. It was a unique and highly secretive community, and it’s story was one worth telling.
I thought The Girls of Atomic City was much better than Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly (about black women working in NASA), but it fell far short of holding my interest the way Dr. Richard Feynman’s narrative did. Feynman discussed his working on the Manhattan Project in his memoir, Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman (a book highly recommend to anyone).
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2013
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