Thursday, March 20, 2014
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
Maybe it was my childhood awareness of Oak Ridge, maybe it was my love of history, but I had put this book on my reading list. A friend sent it on to me (thank you Nancy!) when she saw I was interested in it. Such a fascinating collection of people, in a fascinating time and place. All were very ordinary, and very extraordinary at the same time. The secrecy surrounding the project, some of the rules and regulations, and the level of detail thought through in some areas (while totally ignored in others, such as what to do with the mud at the site, to allow people to get about) was fascinating. It did take me a little bit to keep the various people and their story lines straight (for though this is non-fiction, there are times when it really doesn't read as such.)
I found this a thoughtful and though-provoking look at history, and the women, from janitor to scientist, who helped build the atomic bomb. They did, indeed, change the world.