The Girls of Atomic City, by Denise Kiernan

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At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was home to 75,000 residents, and consumed more electricity than New York City, yet it was shrouded in such secrecy that it did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women from small towns across the U.S., were recruited to this secret city, enticed by the promise of solid wages and war-ending work. What were they actually doing there? Very few knew. The purpose of this mysterious government project was kept a secret from the outside world and from the majority of the residents themselves. Some wondered why, despite the constant work and round-the-clock activity in this makeshift town, did no tangible product of any kind ever seem to leave its guarded gates? The women who kept this town running would find out at the end of the war, when Oak Ridge’s secret was revealed and changed the world forever.

Drawing from the voices and experiences of the women who lived and worked in Oak Ridge, The Girls of Atomic City rescues a remarkable, forgotten chapter of World War II from obscurity. Denise Kiernan captures the spirit of the times through these women: their pluck, their desire to contribute, and their enduring courage. “A phenomenal story,” and Publishers Weekly called it an “intimate and revealing glimpse into one of the most important scientific developments in history.”

About the Author

Denise Kiernan (born July 31, 1968) is an American journalist, producer and author who lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She has authored several history titles, including Signing Their Lives Away and The Girls of Atomic City. Kiernan started out in journalism, and as a freelance writer, her work appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, and Ms. Magazine amongst other publications. She served as the head writer for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire during its first season. She has produced pieces for ESPN and MSNBC. Additionally, she has authored several popular history titles and has ghost written books for athletes, entrepreneurs and actresses. Her most recent book, The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II, traces the story of the women who worked on the Manhattan Project, unknowingly helping to create the fuel for the world's first atomic bomb. The Girls of Atomic City became a New York Times best seller in its first week of publication.

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