The Girls of Atomic City (2)

And who the hell would hang out on the book thread wearing a tutu??

Someone reading on her cell during a slack moment at ballet practice? (Don't mess with the ballerinas, OM. They kick hard. Daughter Webworker also took years of karate.)


Milady Webworker wrote a book review for me to post to the Book Thread. The date on the file is Aug 7, so I've been a bit slow getting to this. Digital file fell back behind a digital file cabinet is my excuse.

I notice she said she was only half through the book. This must be dozens of books back for her now. Here 'tis:

The Girls of Atomic City

I've been reading "The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II"

This is the story of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a town created during the war for the sole purpose of trying to enrich Uranium and send it on to Los Alamos where it could be made into a bomb. Well, I'm pretty sure that's what they were doing. Being only half way through the book I feel like one of the girls in the story: I have my suspicions of what's going on. Unlike them, I can talk about it.

Denise Kiernan, the author, does a good job of mixing the personal stories of various women in many different kinds of jobs with the scientific and technical aspects of "The Project". There are several pages of pictures, including then and now pics of three of the women.

This is a very compelling story. I've been somewhat aggravated to have so much going on in my life at the moment that I can only read a few pages each evening when I should already be asleep.

Aside from the story itself, this book is making me think about how much has changed since the war. Some of these girls seem much younger than the average 16-20 year old today. I don't know, maybe they seem older, now that I really think about an average 20 year old. They didn't really know what they were doing, just that it would help to win the war. That was enough for them.

I can't help but wonder what these women must think as they watch our government work as hard as they can to turn nuclear weapons over to the mullahs in Iran. These young girls may not have known exactly what they were doing, but they evidently knew more and cared more about protecting the security of our nation than most of the people in Washington today.