Daily Archives: June 20, 2013

*** The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan

Sure, The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II is not perfect: the breathless, fake-excited tone is a bit much, and the almost-exclusive focus on the women who worked at the Oak Ridge facility seems forced, since there were many men there, too. But these are nits. The author does a marvelous job of recreating the eerily closed world of the uranium-enriching facility, where almost no one knew that it was, in fact, a uranium-enriching facility, and the minutiae of the work that needed to be done manually just a few decades ago — all those dials that needed monitoring, paperwork to be typed by hand, statistics to be computed manually!

A great counterpart to the history of Los Alamos, reminding us of the unique opportunities for women’s work created by the war, and the many hardships endured because of it.

 

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