Customer Reviews for

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Fascinating History

I saw an interview with the author Denise Kiernan on the Daily Show and was hooked. This book goes in to the lives of several woman who worked on the Manhattan project during WWII with out knowing what they worked on.

The book is segmented in a way that doesn't al...
I saw an interview with the author Denise Kiernan on the Daily Show and was hooked. This book goes in to the lives of several woman who worked on the Manhattan project during WWII with out knowing what they worked on.

The book is segmented in a way that doesn't always make it easy for the reader to follow. However, that is what the experiences was for these woman. They lived and worked in an environment that was hugely segmented.

This book was hard to put down. Wonderfully written. More people should know about this place in our nations history.

posted by Jane_AustenAP on April 26, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

I read the Manhattan project a while back and then saw an interv

I read the Manhattan project a while back and then saw an interview  with Denis Keirnan. Interesting read especially for those of us with WWIi parents.  She tells the story of Oakridge mostly  through the eyes of women who worked there.  Good read.

posted by 5299318 on March 30, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2013

    I read the Manhattan project a while back and then saw an interv

    I read the Manhattan project a while back and then saw an interview  with Denis Keirnan. Interesting read especially for those of us with WWIi parents.  She tells the story of Oakridge mostly  through the eyes of women who worked there.  Good read.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Fascinating History

    I saw an interview with the author Denise Kiernan on the Daily Show and was hooked. This book goes in to the lives of several woman who worked on the Manhattan project during WWII with out knowing what they worked on.

    The book is segmented in a way that doesn't always make it easy for the reader to follow. However, that is what the experiences was for these woman. They lived and worked in an environment that was hugely segmented.

    This book was hard to put down. Wonderfully written. More people should know about this place in our nations history.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Enjoyed meeting these women.

    Makes me want to read more about Oak Ridge. Learned a lot.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2013

    This book has some interesting anecdotes and stories told by wom

    This book has some interesting anecdotes and stories told by women who worked at the plant in Oak Ridge. However, there were so many sentences repeated, grammar unedited, and poor wording that one wonder if the author was perhaps a better researcher than writer. Perhaps her editor was at fault, but the book becomes boring and segmented. This is a story that needs to be told. We know so much about the men who built the bomb, but the efforts of the women left at home during the war needs to explored. This book misses the mark.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    The mother of a close friend is in the picture on the cover. Sh

    The mother of a close friend is in the picture on the cover. She worked in Chicago, at Berkeley, at Oak Ridge, and then back at Berkeley as a young chemist. She died never telling a soul what she did during those years - quite an adventure for a rancher's daughter from the plains of South Dakota - except that she used to pipette solutions with her mouth and she always wore a radiation badge. Because of her length of involvement, she undoubtedly understood what was happening. It's a fascinating and remarkable story of the dedication to a particular mission and the role that women had in the war effort.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Great Read

    I love WW II books--fiction and non-fiction. This is a story that hasn't been told. Its remarkable that the greatest secret of the was kept even though thousands of workers built and worked at several huge installations for months making the first atomic bombs.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    As a Historian, this book is an essential read for anyone interested in WWII or the Manhattan Project. To go with it I recommend R Rhodes "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" and "Dark Sun". He has more about the building of the plants where these women worked and how big and dangerous they were. Of course, everyone involved was learning about radiation. The girls of Atomic City were amazing and accomplished a lot. Especially neat is the mention that they could operate some of the equipment better and faster then the physicists.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2013

    This book was a very difficult book to read. I felt like I was


    This book was a very difficult book to read. I felt like I was in a chemistry class with all the formulas included in the text. The characters were boring and not well written. Had it not been for my book club, I would not have finished this book. Had I not purchased it on my Nook, I would have returned it for a refund! Too bad such an important event in the history of our country was written so poorly!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Detailed personal stories of those who "didn't know what they were doing at the time"

    Denise did an indepth study into the personal lives of several women who experienced being uprooted and moving to a town in Tennessee with no name. I enjoyed the stories but I thought the information dragged on. I think the info could have been done in 100 less pages!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    I lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during this time. This book has

    I lived in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during this time. This book has incorrect facts. It give a false impression of Oak Ridge during that time period. You can't rely on 90-year-olds memory. 1943 was a much different world than 2013. Judging 1943 Oak Ridge by 2013 standards is an injustice. I found the book boring. Others said that they could not get into it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2014

    Well written and interesting story of the women of Oakridge. I l

    Well written and interesting story of the women of Oakridge. I learned much about the huge operation to produce the atomic bomb.



    side stories about racism, community and group effort. Women scientists and treatment by their male counterparts. I think I will go on to the Wives of Los Alamos next! Highly recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2014

    MAP AND RULES

    Map is first res map and rules second res were we meet third res chatroom fourth res bios fifth res where you try out for the squad and sixth res is the newsboard-hope you have fun~sincerly your team captain alexandria

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  • Posted April 28, 2014

    In a remote valley in Tennessee in the midst of a World War and

    In a remote valley in Tennessee in the midst of a World War and over a period of less than three years a city rose up - Oak Ridge. Into that city poured much of the wealth of a nation, vast quantities of material and somewhere on the order of 80,000 people. Where once stood a few itinerant farms, there appeared homes, schools, hospitals, stores, libraries and some of the largest buildings ever to appear on the planet. Out of that city came, well, virtually nothing much - a few pounds of metal - a metal know then only as tubealloy.
    The Girls of Atomic City details the lives of a few women from among thousands who were hired to support the single purpose of this vast industrial gamble - the enrichment of one isotope of tubealloy (uranium) (235) over another (238) to an extent that would be fissionable - a bomb. Much of the technical aspects of this story have been told before. This book by Denise Kiernan emphasizes the extraordinary efforts at maintaining secrecy while simultaneously creating a workforce not only from scratch, but a workforce that would not know for nearly three years what it was they were manufacturing. "When this meter moves right, push this button. When this gage goes up turn this dial left. Don't talk to your neighbor. Don't ask why." The women in these stories, the soldiers who were pulled from draft lines to work there, and the army of civilians who supported the vast construction projects all had to carry out their often highly technical work perfectly without ever knowing how their accomplishments related to the woman or man standing next to them.
    Besides personalizing an otherwise highly technical "Rosy the Riveter" tale of women rising to the occasion, The Girls of Atomic City also successfully conveys the spirit of a time past in U.S. history when the actions of the government were not only not automatically questioned but were embraced as good and necessary.
    With 30 pages of detailed Notes that comprise a short book on their own and an Index, The Girls of Atomic City is an inspiring if sobering tale of what humans can accomplish to win a war. Would that we are equally successful in winning the war to save the planet as we have been in destroying it.
    Richard R. Pardi Environmental Science William Paterson University

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  • Posted April 20, 2014

    Extremely well written!!

    I usually don't read history books - boring! But this book was above and beyond interesting. It included human interest stories as well as historical facts. And to find out how it was done so secretly was fascinating! The book reveals how fortunate we were to be able to have developed this technology and work together to win the war.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2014

    Interesting topic

    Interesting part of history. I enjoyed the mix of personal takes at Oak Ridge mixed with the development of the bomb. However, I had a hard time staying interested in the womens' storylines, I think due to the fragmentation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Highly Recommended- Well worth the time!

    Outstanding book for those who appreciate nonfiction, especially from the WWII era. I was fascinated with the various characters and their ability to cope in spite of the restrictions under which they were living. Talented women.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Very informative

    Loved learning the behind the scene story coulf not fathom how i would react after the fact

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    I loved this book! I was born & raised in Oak Ridge and my

    I loved this book! I was born & raised in Oak Ridge and my parents both worked in the plants, so I was familiar with most of the facts of this book. However, I never fully understood the emotion of what these people experienced. This book does an amazing job of telling you the story behind the story, the real people that made such a huge difference in the war. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it.

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  • Posted April 30, 2013

    What a great story. Denise Kiernan interviewed many of the resid

    What a great story. Denise Kiernan interviewed many of the residents who are still living there today (in their 90s). The way the author writes is riveting and she captures all of the nuances of how history played out back then. Everybody wanted the war to end but the people that worked at Oak Ridge were more than happy to contribute and were proud to help out.
    A tremendous amount of research went into this book (seven years) but it definitely deserved to be written.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    This book definitely should be rated with 5 stars! It was a goo

    This book definitely should be rated with 5 stars! It was a good book and I highly recommend it.

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