Friday, July 18, 2014

The Girls Of Atomic City

In Oak Ridge Tennessee, a new city was made as part of the Manhattan Project in 1942. More than 75,000 people(mostly women) lived and worked there. Most of them had no idea what they were really working on. They knew their work helped the war effort, but little else. Even talking about what your job was in Oak Ridge was answered with the punishment of eviction and unemployment. Very few figured out what they were part of, until the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.

I had never read anything about the production of the nuclear bombs before. I did not realize how secretive it was. It was surprising to learn that the people working in these factories had little idea what they were doing. The government did not want overly trained people working in these factories. They wanted people who knew enough to do the job they were given, but who would not know enough to ask questions.

I thought the information was not conveyed in the clearest or most engaging manner. The narrative changed perspectives a lot, which made a lot of the information very repetitive. It also made it hard to really get to know any of the women that were part of this community. It was also difficult to keep track of the different women as parts of their story were told earlier and you would not read more about them until a lot later in the book.

I thought it the topic was really interesting, and there was a lot of good information in the book, it just needed to be presented in a different way. I had never heard about Oak Ridge before, and I am really glad the author researched an important, but forgotten part of history.

I would recommend giving this book a try if you are interested in World War II.

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