Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Girls of Atomic City

In October, my friend Barbara reviewed this book on her blog, Stray Thoughts, here.   It sounded like a book I would like - and it was.

Thousands and thousands of workers were brought into a fenced-in and highly guarded area at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, during World War II.  They knew only that they were working on some kind of important project for the war.  Everything was very secretive, and anyone who speculated too much or asked too many questions, was quickly removed from the site.

Many of the workers were young women.  They were preferred for this project because of their youth and naivete.  Some were office workers, but many actually ran the machines that enriched uranium (although they were not told that that was what they were doing).  This book tells the stories of about a dozen of them - several of whom are still living and were interviewed for this book.

The workers at the plant were just as surprised as the rest of the world when the news of the bomb became public.  Some of them struggled with guilt for contributing to the project, but many of them were more stoic, accepting that what they did was necessary to end the war.

I prefer non-fiction books, and this was a good read--one of those books that's hard to put down.


Barbara H. said...

So glad you enjoyed it! I agree, very interesting and hard to put down.

rk2 said...

Looks very interesting. I'll put it on my list.